Power and Reciprocity in Partnerships: Deliberative Civic Engagement and Transformative Learning in Community-Engaged Scholarship

Katherine L. Davis, Brandon W. Kliewer, Aliki Nicolaides


The purpose of this work is to assist partners in identifying, naming, and facilitating dynamic relational forces and learning processes that shape the effectiveness of community engagement practice and partnerships. We offer a hypothetical case to assist in framing and discussing concepts of reciprocity and power in partnerships and how these dynamics can be mediated through practices and processes of civic engagement and transformative learning. We advocate that mapping intersects of power and reciprocity, and attending to capacities for deliberative civic engagement and transformative learning, are crucial practices in effective community-engaged partnerships. These three vital practices contribute to the creation of conditions that nurture the emergence of individual, institutional, organizational, and social transformation generated through community-engaged scholarship.

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