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This report presents an overview of approaches used to explain social change from a wide range of academic perspectives, from history, politics, and economics to psychology and geography. These are summarized in a useful table, which presents a series of questions as a flexible tool for thinking about how change happens.
The author argues that current development thinking uses only a narrow range of approaches to change and the result is that most development strategies are limited. They are: excessively reformist and insensitive to underlying power and inequality; largely ignore environmental issues; overlook the importance of personal relationships and promoting mutual understanding as a strategy for change; fail to appreciate fully the contextual factors that limit change; lack a multidisciplinary agility to draw on the broad range of approaches to change that exist outside the confines of development studies.
Krznaric argues that there is a need for broader thinking about how change happens, so that we can be more creative in devising strategies and more adept at facing the huge challenges that confront our societies and planet.
Introduction; PART 1: DISCIPLINARY APPROACHES TO HOW CHANGE HAPPENS: History; Politics; Sociology; Social Anthropology; Psychology; Economics; Management & organisational studies; International relations and globalisation; Geography; Legal studies; Technology and science; Philosophy; Ecology; Cross-disciplinary approaches to how change happens; PART 2: THE ROUGH GUIDE TO HOW CHANGE HAPPENS: The rough guide to how change happens (table); The abolition of the slave trade and slavery in Britain; PART 3: APPROACHES TO CHANGE IN CONTEMPORARY DEVELOPMENT THINKING: Market liberalisation; Managed markets; Corporate social responsibility; International aid; Empowerment; Grassroots participation and social organisation; Reforming the state; Land reform and securing private property; Changing attitudes and beliefs; Conclusions; References and Endnotes.