This book uncovers how power operates around the world, and how it can be resisted or transformed through empowered collective action and social leadership. The stakes have never been higher. Recent years have seen a rapid escalation of inequalities, the rise of new global powers and corporate interests, increasing impunity of human rights violations, suppression of civil society, and a re-shaping of democratic processes by post-truth, populist and nationalist politics.
Rather than looking at power through the lenses of agency or structure alone, this book views power and empowerment as complex and multi-dimensional societal processes, defined by pervasive social norms, conditions, constraints and opportunities. Bridging theory and practice, the book explores real-world applications using a selection of frameworks, tools, case studies, examples, resources and reflections from experience to support actors to analyse their positioning and align themselves with progressive social forces.
Compiled with social change practitioners, students and scholars in mind, Power, Empowerment and Social Change is the perfect volume for anyone involved in politics, international development, sociology, human rights and environmental justice who is looking for fresh insights for transforming power in favour of relatively less powerful people.
1.0 Introduction: power, empowerment and social change Jethro Pettit and Rosemary McGee
Part II Conceptual and theoretical groundings and debates
2.1. Plus ça change…? Shifting power in a disorienting moment Lisa VeneKlasen
2.2 Finding community: the power of unruliness Patta Scott-Villiers
2.3 Rethinking accountability: a power perspective Rosemary McGee
2.4 Transforming power with embodied practice Jethro Pettit
2.5 Towards a political practice of empowerment in digital times: a feminist commentary from the Global South Anita Gurumurthy and Nandini Chami
Part III Analysing power and empowerment: frameworks and approaches
3.1 Did we forget about power? Reintroducing concepts of power for justice, equality and peace Alexa Bradley
3.2 Applying power analysis: using the ‘Powercube’ to explore forms, levels and spaces John Gaventa
3.3 Critical reflections on shifting the toxic alchemy of institutional power Aruna Rao and Joanne Sandler
3.4 Finding the right power tool(s) for the job: rendering the invisible visible Jo Rowlands
Part IV Understanding agency: social action for shifting power
4.1 Power and agency in violent settings Marjoke Oosterom
4.2. Micro-level analysis of power and its relevance for practice Walter Flores
4.3 Environmental defenders: courage, territory and power Fran Lambrick
4.4 The decolonising Zapatista revolution Raúl Zibechi
Part V Learning and unlearning power for reflective social action
5.1 Learning about power in a Masters for reflective social change practitioners Rosemary McGee with Jethro Pettit and Fiammetta Wegner
5.2 Reflexive aid practice: naming and dealing with power Rosalind Eyben
5.3 Consciousness-raising, intersectionality, and movement building for social transformation Mariela Arce Andrade and Valerie Miller