Governing through community-based research: Lessons from the Canadian HIV research sector
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The "general public" and specific "communities" are increasingly being integrated into scientific decision-making. This shift emphasizes "scientific citizenship" and collaboration between interdisciplinary scientists, lay people, and multi-sector stakeholders (universities, healthcare, and government). The objective of this paper is to problematize these developments through a theoretically informed reading of empirical data that describes the consequences of bringing together actors in the Canadian HIV community-based research (CBR) movement. Drawing on Foucauldian "governmentality" the complex inner workings of the impetus to conduct collaborative research are explored. The analysis offered surfaces the ways in which a formalized approach to CBR, as promoted through state funding mechanisms, determines the structure and limits of engagement while simultaneously reinforcing the need for finer grained knowledge about marginalized communities. Here, discourses about risk merge with notions of "scientific citizenship" to implicate both researchers and communities in a process of governance.
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