English // Key words: Conflict, action research, territorial development, ideological position, political role, participation
Action research has approached conflict mainly through the concept of conflict resolution, where action researchers play a role as third parties acting as organizers, conveners, and facilitators. This paper proposes a complementary role as stakeholders in the conflicts of territorial development and thus, as one more part in conflict. This is done in the context of one specific approach to action research, namely, action research for territorial development and one specific project, the Territorial Development Laboratory initiated in 2009 in Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, Spain. The paper argues that the ideological and political positions of action researchers, legitimated by the other stakeholders through the action research process, give them a stake in territorial development conflicts. It also revisits the interpretation of participation in action research in order to conceptualize action researchers’ role as stakeholders in the conflicts of territorial development. These discussions are of interest for any action researcher wanting to explore her or his role as a part in conflict in action research processes and not exclusively as a third party facilitating the process.