Throughout the world, from the United States to Tanzania, Chechnya, and Sri Lanka, people increasingly work together and take actions to improve their lives, end inequality, and change global society. Action groups and movements see dialogue and learning as important ways to extend democracy and, with their inclusiveness, remake society. By putting strategy with theory, local groups and movements are able to begin making changes in civil society and institutions that allow people to begin living in new ways. Written for activists, people, and students interested in change, this book takes readers on a journey of discovery as it shows how various groups have brought theory and action together to make urban, rural, and transnational change. The case studies and explanatory articles reveal how feminist, antiracist, ecological, and peace movements reinforce each other to initiate and achieve well-placed and enduring change.
“Democracy Works is important and much needed. It is the rare book that offers a combination of theory and action, grounded in local work and placed within a global context. This collection broadens both our understanding and our skills.”
—Suzanne Pharr, former Director of Highlander Center
“Fascinating analyses of how the praxis of democratic social movements really works to effectuate significant social change. Extremely intelligent and useful.”
—Immanuel Wallerstein, Yale University
1) Introduction: Joining Theories and Action Methodologies to Promote Change; Chapter 1. Making History Together: Inclusive Participation in Global Change, Torry Dickinson; Chapter 2. Deliberative Democracy: A Foundation for Sustainable Social Change. Donna Schenck-Hamlin, Tim Steffensmeier, and William Schenck-Hamlin; Chapter 3. Participatory Action Research at the Western Institute for Social Research: Sound Research Goes Hand in Hand with Inclusiveness and Effective Community Action, John Bilorusky, PhD; Terry Lunsford, PhD.; Cynthia Lawrence, PhD.; 2) Individual Engagement and Collective Change for New Cultures: Working within Global Institutions and Civil Society; Chapter 4. Education for Nonviolent Change -For Life-: From Danish Folk Schools to Highlander and Beyond, Marilyn Jackson, PhD.; Chapter 5. Becoming an Activist for Global Change, Christopher E. Renner; Chapter 6. Small Farmers, Alienated Consumers, Social Movements, and the Corporatization of Fair Trade, Rink Dickinson; Chapter 7. The Power of One: Democracy and the Fear of Freedom as Political Paradigm, Prabha Manuratne and Buddhika Bandara; 3) Taking on Global Institutions: Gender/Sexuality, Racialized Ethnicity, Class, North-South Divides; Firm and Market, State, and Household; Chapter 8 Addressing the State and Racism. Abolishing the Death Penalty, Abolishing Prisons, Mechthild Nagel.; Chapter 9. Addressing the Violence of Patriarchal State, Household, and Gender: Reframing the Debate-Nonviolence as a Language and a Strategy, Susan Allen; Chapter 10. A Addressing the Global North's Firm, Market, and Imperial Advantages and the Global South's Disadvantages: "Comercio con Justicia" and a Guatemalan Women's Textile Coop-Theory in Action, Summer Lewis; Addressing Global Institutional Inequalities in Production, Distribution, Exchange, and Consumption: Social Change through Global Fair Trade-Travel Letters from Fair Trade Advocates, Al Benford; Chapter 11. Addressing War, the State, and the Reproduction of Gender and Racial Divides: Ending Violence Together-Women's Civil Societal Movements for Peace in Chechnya and Russia, Kate Romanova; 4) Making New Social Relations by Changing Civil Society; Chapter 12. Civil Societal Movements to Change Twentieth-Century Industrial Agriculture: Re-Embracing Sustainable Development, Dan Nagengast; Chapter 13. Building New Food-Growing and Consuming Relations in Civil Society: An Act of Social Change-Creating Sustainable Agriculture and Sustainable Consumers, Rhonda Janke; Chapter 14. Confronting Sexism, Racism, and Global Inequality in Civil Society. "Have I Got an Ethic for You!" Ecofeminism as the Heart of Progressive Environmental Action, Valerie Carroll; Chapter 15. Reinventing People's Relationship to Water in Civil Society: We're All in This Together- Addressing Global Water Issues, Terrie A. Becerra; Chapter 16. Change from Civil Society, the State, and Global NGOs: Feminists Make the Right Call-Redesigning Water Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa, Leticia Nkonya; Chapter 17. Developing Women's Cooperatives in Civil Society: Women Take the Lead-Changing Global Economics through Grassroots Cooperatives, Joyce Rothschild; Chapter 18. Initiating Cross-Border, Inclusive Networks in Civil Society: Thought and Action across Borders-The Small Farmers Movement of Cajibio, Colombia and the Central New York Sister-City Partnership, Colleen Kattau; 5) Conclusion: Reinventing Democracy to Construct New Societies; Chapter 19. A Review: Developing Theory by Participating in Democratic Social Change, Torry D. Dickinson and Terrie A. Becerra.