How Change Happens

How Change Happens

By Duncan Green
Book Description

Human society is full of would-be ‘change agents’, a restless mix of campaigners, lobbyists, and officials, both individuals and organizations, set on transforming the world. They want to improve public services, reform laws and regulations, guarantee human rights, get a fairer deal for those on the sharp end, achieve greater recognition for any number of issues, or simply be treated with respect. Striking then, that not many universities have a Department of Change Studies, to which social activists can turn for advice and inspiration. Instead, scholarly discussions of change are fragmented with few conversations crossing disciplinary boundaries, rarely making it onto the radars of those actively seeking change. This book aims to bridge the gap between academia and practice, bringing together the best research from a range of academic disciplines and the evolving practical understanding of activists to explore the topic of social and political change. Drawing on many first-hand examples from the global experience of Oxfam, one of the world’s largest social justice NGOs, as well as insights gleaned from studying and working on international development, it tests ideas and offers the latest thinking on what works to achieve progressive change.

Online resources at the books website.

Table of Contents
  • Cover
  • How Change Happens
  • Copyright
  • Dedication
  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgements
  • Contents
  • Introduction
  • Part I: A Power and Systems Approach
    • How we think/feel/work: 4 steps to help us dance with the system
    • The questions we ask (and keep asking)
    • 1: Systems Thinking Changes Everything
      • Systems, economics, and development
      • Crises as critical junctures
      • The world is complex-so what?
        • Be flexible:
        • Seek fast and ongoing feedback:
        • Success is often accidental:
        • Undertake multiple parallel experiments:
        • Learn by doing (and failing):
        • Identify and discuss your rules of thumb:
        • Convene and broker relationships:
      • Positive deviance
      • Conclusion
      • Further Reading
      • Further Viewing
    • 2: Power Lies at the Heart of Change
      • No such thing as a power vacuum
      • Power and change
      • Is power a zero sum game?
      • Using power analysis
        • Alliances:
        • Approach:
        • Events:
      • Why change doesn´t happen
        • Institutions:
        • Ideas:
        • Interests:
      • Conclusion
      • Further Reading
      • Further Surfing
    • 3: Shifts in Social Norms Often Underpin Change
      • How norms evolve
      • Norms, gender, and power
      • Norm changes and the state
      • Norms, culture, and faith
      • Are norms neutral?
      • Female genital mutilation
      • Conclusion
      • Further Reading
    • Case Study: The Chiquitanos of Bolivia
  • Part II: Institutions and the Importance of History
    • 4: How States Evolve
      • How states evolve
      • States in developing countries today
      • Aid-financed state reform
      • Conclusion
      • Further Reading
    • 5: The Machinery of Law
      • The law as a driver of change
      • Customary law
      • Combining customary and formal systems
      • International law
      • The law as a system
      • Conclusion
      • Further Reading
    • 6: Accountability, Political Parties, and the Media
      • Political parties as drivers of change
      • Patronage and corruption
      • Parties and women
      • Parties in non-democratic systems
      • Party platforms as venues for change
      • The media and accountability
      • Transparency and accountability initiatives
      • Conclusion
      • Further Reading
    • 7: How the International System Shapes Change
      • The multilateral system evolves
      • `Hard´ and `soft´ power
      • The sustainable development goals
      • Conclusion
      • Further Reading
    • 8: Transnational Corporations as Drivers and Targets of Change
      • Some history
      • How TNCs drive change
      • TNCs as influencers
      • How do TNCs change?
      • Why do different TNCs behave so differently?
      • Conclusions
      • Further Reading
    • Case Study: The December 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change
      • Background
      • Contextual drivers of change
      • The main players
      • Critical junctures
      • Systems thinking: a 21st century international agreement?
  • Part III: What Activists Can (and Can´t) Do
    • 9: Citizen Activism and Civil Society
      • What is citizen activism?
      • Citizen activism and protest
      • Citizen activism and markets
      • Civil society and the state: opponents or collaborators?
      • State support for citizen activism
      • How can outsiders support citizen activists?
        • 1. The right partners are indispensable:
        • 2. Don´t neglect `power within´:
        • 3. Build the `grains´ of change:
        • 4. Building citizen activism takes time:
        • 5. Think about working with faith groups:
        • 6. Conflict vs. cooperation:
      • Conclusion
      • Further Reading
    • 10: Leaders and Leadership
      • Understanding leadership at the top
      • What makes a leader?
      • What do leaders do?
      • Leadership from below
      • Women and leadership
      • Leadership, power, and systems
      • Further Reading
      • Further Surfing
    • 11: The Power of Advocacy
      • How advocacy works
      • Advocacy and systems thinking
      • Critical junctures
      • Coalitions and alliances
      • Insiders vs. outsider tactics
      • Conclusion
      • Further Reading
  • Part IV: Pulling it all Together
    • 12: A Power and Systems Approach to Making Change Happen
      • A power and systems approach
        • What kind of change are we talking about?
        • What precedents are there that we can learn from?
        • Who are the stakeholders and where do they stand?
        • What kind of approach might make sense for this change?
        • What actual strategies are you going to try?
        • How will we learn about the impact of our actions and changes in the context?
      • Implications for activist organizations
      • Implications for funders
      • How international activist organizations might adapt
      • Conclusion
      • Further Reading
      • Further Surfing
  • Conclusion
  • Index
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