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Thread: The Ladder of Citizen Participation

  1. #1

    The Ladder of Citizen Participation

    In response to: Anybody remember Sherry Arnstein or "The Ladder of Citizen Participation"? posted by Ray Severn on August 31, 1998 at 13:28:12:

    Who is she?

  2. #2

    Anybody remember Sherry Arnstein or "The Ladder of

    I came on this discussion in a Net search on Sherry Arnstein... you may be interested that I used her ladder in The Guide to Effective Particiaption which you can find at http://www.partnerships.org.uk



  3. #3

    Anybody remember Sherry Arnstein or "The Ladder of

    In response to: Anybody remember Sherry Arnstein or "The Ladder of Citizen Participation"? posted by Ray Severn on August 31, 1998 at 13:28:12:

    I was interested in seeing this message today. I have just been working on a project on community consultation, and we used the concepts developed by Arnstein. We also looked at articles by Desmond Connor and the material developed by David Wilcox (he posted on this issue). I am a librarian by profession. So if I can help regarding obtaining the article let me know ( I found a copy in Australia). You can also try through Uncover But most libraries should be able to get you an inter-library loan seeing that you have
    the relevant details.

    If anyone has up to date information on Sherry Arnstein, Connor and Wilcox's concepts especially critiques of Arnstein, I would be very interested.

    Kitty Delaney
    Perth Australia

  4. #4


    As I recall from my planning coursework at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Sherry, if I've got her name right, wrote a lucid article about how at the bottom wrung of the ladder of citizen participation (or close to it) was placation (or was it pacification, hmm...) which I see alot of. And at the top (or close to it) was empowerment. In between were well analysed stages of participation. I would really like to review the article and follow-up any evolution of this analysis.

  5. #5


    Wow, I'm not the only one who refers to The Ladder of Citizen Participation! I have been using it for presentations I am doing on an urban redevelopment project BUT I desperately want more recent info. Anyone know of anything else she has published since the 60's? Where can I find the info from Desmond Commer and WHAT material has David Wilcox developed on this topic??

  6. #6

    Anybody remember Sherry Arnstein or "The Ladder of

    Dear Kitty,

    I think the Arnstein's definition is too ideal. Acutally, you cannot go to the top rank and control by yourself. But I think Anne Richardson's idea may be better because she mentioned the point is related to whether citizen have the chance of involvement or not, it sounds more practical in the real world. Therefore, I would more likely to support Anne Richardson's definition more than Arnstein definition. For example,if you cannot redistribute power finally but you have taken part in the negotiation but the turn out is your idea have been rejected, what will you define the result? Did you participate? There is no way for you to deny the participation but if according Arnstein's idea, you will probably not participate at the end.

    Even I am doing the paper which is related to the citizen participation, I would like to use Richardson's definition rather than Arntstein's definition.

    If anyone who can provide any idea or examples in citizen participation in health policy, please contact me as soon as possible.


    Hong Kong

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