Sean Howard catches a good example of questionable thinking about participation. The International Associaton for Public Participation has put out a one pager (pdf) with a remarkably top down notion of getting bottom up involvement.
The language is very telling:
We will keep you informed… we will look to you for advice… we will implement what you decide
This strikes me as patronising and also based on a very reductionist model that seems to think decisions are ideologically separate from implementation.
This is why I think bottom-up is not the same as peer-to-peer. Bottom-up seems to embody the same underlying logic as top down whilst peer-to-peer points to something rather more interesting, complex and challenging.