How Change Happens: Interdisciplinary Perspectives for Human Development

How Change Happens: Interdisciplinary Perspectives for Human Development

Paperback Oxfam Research Report

By (author) Roman Krznaric


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  • Publisher: Oxfam Professional
  • Format: Paperback | 59 pages
  • Dimensions: 206mm x 287mm x 8mm | 159g
  • Publication date: 30 August 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0855985976
  • ISBN 13: 9780855985974
  • Edition: 1

Product description

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.

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Author information

Roman Krznaric is a cultural thinker and founding faculty member of The School of Life. He advises organisations including Oxfam and the United Nations on using empathy and conversation to create social change, and has been named by The Observer as one of Britain's leading lifestyle philosophers.

Table of contents

Contents; Overview; Introduction; 1. Disciplinary approaches to how change happens; History; Politics; Sociology; Social anthropology; Psychology; Economics; Management and organisational studies; International relations and globalisation; Geography; Legal studies; Technology and science; Philosopy; Ecology; Cross-disciplinary approaches to how change happens; 2. The rough guide to how change happens; The rough guide to how change happens; The abolition of the slave trade and slavery in Britain; 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; Endnotes