Still Doing Democracy!
Finding Common Ground and Acting for the Common Good
A much-needed new guide and training for Engaged Citizens!
People are still marching and showing up for protests 8 months after over 3 million around the world joined the Women’s March, January 21, 2017, to voice their concern about the violation of treasured values. In the last several months large demonstrations have focused on health care, police violence, immigration, climate change, and in August protests against white supremacists and their allies were held across the country. If these concerns about human rights, racism, equality, health, and the environment are to lead to a new era of social activism, then multitudes of ordinary citizens need to be engaged in the everyday work of democracy. Still Doing Democracy! Finding Common Ground and Acting for the Common Good by JoAnn McAllister and Jim Smith offers insights into the issues that divide our nation and tools that will help Engaged Citizens understand different perspectives, identify shared values, and work together for the common good.
While there are good guides to social action strategy and tactics, few integrate the knowledge, personal qualities, and skills we need to bridge the many boundaries that divide us. Still Doing Democracy! brings forth important insights about human beliefs and behavior from recent natural and social science research and practical tools for individuals who want to engage with others to seek a common vision. If we are to reaffirm democratic values, preserve the progress made to protect and expand human rights, create safe and healthy communities, and preserve the natural world, we need to become knowledgeable and effective agents of change.
JoAnn McAllister, PhD, was a co-author of Doing Democracy: the MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements by long time civil rights activist, Bill Moyer. She brings forward critical insights about the important role ordinary people play in social change and social change movements. Active in environmental and social justice efforts for many years, JoAnn has been helping people – students, researchers, community organization staff, volunteers – to understand different beliefs, identify shared values, and work together for common purposes. These are essential skills in our fragmented and polarized society. Jim Smith, MA, political theorist and long-time social change activist, joins her to add perspective on national and international policies and the opposing political paradigms that have created our current conditions and contributed to the decline of democratic engagement.