I’m planning to update How Change Happens over the summer, and wanted to ask for advice on what to cover. I guess this is particularly relevant to those of you who use the book, whether for teaching, training or getting to sleep at night.
Quick reminder: The book is about the plumbing – the ‘how’ of change and the institutions involved (states, multilateral system, civil society etc), not ‘what needs to change’, which is the terrain more commonly covered by Oxfam and other INGOs/activists. Issues like climate change, or gender justice, are dealt with, but largely as ways to illustrate the different ways change happens and the tools and mindsets activists use to bring it about.
The book also explores the nature of social, economic and political change beyond the role of specific activists, in order to better inform their efforts at intentional change.
The book was published in 2016 – month or so after the Brexit vote, and just before Trump’s election. The world looks very different these days, and that has implications for activism.
My current thinking is that the major updates needed are:
- A new chapter on digital influencing (to be written by Tom Kirk of the LSE)
- More on the various downsides that have emerged since 2016 – closing civic space/backlash, rise of populism and what that means for activism. I loved Moises Naim’s book on this, but would welcome any other suggestions
- More on normative shifts within advocacy, especially decolonization, localization and intersectionality
- Inclusion of more recent case studies (where written up), where they are as good or better than the ones in the first edition. Suggestions and links please!
- The impact of Covid on civic activism, based on our emergent agency project
It’s a light update, not a full new edition, so I’ll be keeping a lot of stuff unchanged, but suggestions for improvements very welcome.
Oh, and the new edition will be Open Access, just like the last one. Thanks OUP!