Most people become involved in campaigning and social movements spontaneously, to protect something they care for or resist an unwanted change. We often learn about campaigning by doing. It comes as a surprise to learn (sometimes years later) that there is a wealth of written material on campaigns, social movements and strategy. “I wish I’d read that before we set our on our campaign!”
The Change Agency team have been collecting and writing articles, papers and case studies for almost 20 years. We welcome your contribution. Let us know if you’ve written about social change and are willing to share, or if you stumble on a terrific resource. We’re especially interested in papers that focus on process – how people work for change, rather than the details and content of particular campaigns.
Georgina Woods (2012) draws on personal experiences from her collective organising in Rising Tide Newcastle, at Climate Camp 2008 and in the aftermath of the Copenhagen climate talks. Her article points to the reconciliation between the individual and the
Cassandra Star (2012) argues that the rise and success of community action on climate change opens a space for critical reflection on current ENGO efforts to secure effective public policy outcomes on climate change.
James Whelan (1994). A critical assessment of Friere, Knowles and community development.
John Murphy (2003) Workshop paper presented to the Sense of Place conference hosted by the Network of Inner East Community Houses, Victoria.
Justin Whelan reviews the emerging literature in this field, noting the points of convergence and divergence and suggesting some limitations of the frameworks and opportunities for effective evaluation that meets the needs of interest groups.
James Whelan (2004): A discussion of obstacles to activist scholars and engaged academics, and proposes strategies to bridge this unhelpful divide. This paper was presented by Sam and James during the 2004 ‘Inside Out’ conference.
Justin Whelan (2006). Extracts from ‘Work Justice’, a case study of the campaign by Uniting Justice to influence Industrial Relations legislation in Australia.
Greg Ogle examines recent legal cases against Australian environmentalists – the lawsuit initiated by Tasmanian forestry giant Gunns Ltd, and the litigation proceedings by David Jones against the Australia Institute. How do these suits impact on public de
James Whelan (2001) A Thought Starter for the 2001 National Environment Movement Conference
James Whelan (2006). Case studies of Maleny and Gold Coast environmental campaigns. (An edited version of this paper will be published in 2007)
John Hepburn’s (2005) Churchill Fellowship Report examines Community based, environmental sustainability initiatives in North America and Europe.
James Whelan (2002). A Critical Appraisal of the Midwest Academy Community Organiser Training Program (a modified version of this paper was published in Applied Environmental Education and Communication)
James Whelan (2012) describes how parts of the environment and climate change movements are adopting the techniques and logic of community organising. This challenges them to learn new habits of political analysis and engagement, and unlearn old ones.
Nina Lansbury Hall & Ros Taplin (2006). A Review of Theoretical Perspectives on Environmental NGOs and their Campaign Effectiveness, Presented at the Ecopolitics XVI conference, Griffith University, July 4-6, 2005.
Does engaging with corporations compromise independence and integrity or reduce pressure on nature, and mobilise resources for conservation? Pepe Clark’s 2016 paper discusses key lessons for conservation leaders, including the need for conservation organisations to develop robust analytical frameworks to inform engagement with the private sector, and the importance of building movement wide capacity to influence corporate policy and practice.
Aidan Ricketts, Shelley Bielefeld, Sue Higginson and Jim Jackson investigate the use of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and the common law that applies to companies as mechanisms to discourage environmentally destructive activities of corporations.Publish
Bob Boughton (1996). Presented at the UTS Popular Education Conference, Sydney
Jarrah’s (1998) study of ecofeminist activism in Western Australia examines the practical strategies of women who embrace ecofeminist philosophies and ideals. Findings from this research are discussed in relation to ecofeminist theory and contextualised w
James Whelan (2002) PhD thesis, Griffith University
Claire Runciman, Harry Barber, Linda Parlane, John Stone, and Gill Shaw, 1986
“Too often activists only develop critiques of campaigns which fail. This implies that successful campaigns use the best of all possible strategies and tactics, and that the reasons for success are clear to all onlookers. Even a quick look at the Franklin Campaign shows that it could have been better. A glance at the civil disobedience ‘blockades’ at Roxby Downs, Daintree and Errinundra, that followed in a spate after the Franklin, shows that few participants in those actions understood the model provided by the Franklin Blockade or by the campaign of which the blockade was part. Few people realise that inherent in a protest like the Franklin are long lead-times, and endless tasks, dilemmas, stress, and conflict. We hope this bok will dispel some of the myths about the Franklin, and that it will assist organisers in other social change campaigns.”
James Whelan (2005) A cross-roads for the Australian environment?
Lyndon Schneiders (2003). Churchill Fellowship Report: an investigation of land use planning in remote areas to apply to the resolution of environmental, native title and development disputes in Northern Australia
Arthur Orsini and Catherine O’Brien’s (2006) interviews with teenagers reveal their strategies to influence their peers.
Changemakers Australia and Leslie Falkiner-Rose (2007) note that many grantmakers shy away from funding advocacy for fear of losing their charitable tax status and advise that it’s important to distinguish between organisations and projects with a politic
Nina Lansbury Hall & Ros Taplin (2006). This paper was presented at the Australian Political Studies Association conference, Newcastle University, September 25-27.
Marty Branagan (2003). Delivered at the “Teach-in for Peace”. University of New England.
James Whelan (2003)
Veteran campaigner Drew Hutton (2012) identifies lessons the traditional environment movement might learn from the Lock the Gate ‘green-farmer’ alliance.
How can the popular movements involved in climate change become a social movement for building a sustainable society? Tord Bjork argues there will be no agreement in Copenhagen with substantial content that will bring about changes necessary for stopping
Sam La Rocca (2004) Honours thesis, Australian School of Environmental Studies, Griffith University, Brisbane
James Whelan (2002). Keynote, International Education and Social Action Conference
James Whelan (2004) ‘New forms of activism’ seminar @ UTS, 12 March
Nina Lansbury Hall & Ros Taplin (2006). This version was presented at the 9th annual Environmental Research Event, University of Tasmania, 29 Nov – 2 Dec, 2005.
Christine Laurence (2003). Churchill Fellowship Report
Tracey Ollis has researched the ‘social learning’ of social and political activists. She argues that activists’ learning is holistic and embodied. Activists learn through cognition, emotions and the physical body. This paper was presented to the SUCTREA c
Tracey Ollis researched how adult activists learn to become more expert at what they do through socialisation in a ‘community of practice’. This article focuses on ‘emancipatory learning, radical adult education, popular education and the differences and
Aidan Ricketts (2000) examines how the North East Forest Alliance has successfully combined uncompromising direct action strategies in the form of blockades and occupations with sophisticated lobbying and litigation. Published in the Alternative Law
Marty Branagan (2004) exploring the role of nonviolent political action in overthrowing the Serbian dictatorship.
James Whelan (2003). Reflections on the 2003 WSF in Porto Allegre, Brasil.
Aidan Ricketts (2000) examines how devices such as imagination, ritual, ceremony, romance and symbolism, when combined with bold physical acts of protest, disobedience and defiance produce a powerful medium for asserting dissent. Published in the Journal.
James Whelan & Sam La Rocca (2003). Presentation at Ecopolitics, Melbourne, 29 November.
Everyone knows the principle behind collective organising is that when people work together they are stronger than those working alone. But this principle also applies to organisations. Coalitions between unions and community organisations are not new.
Jen Margaret’s (2010) Churchill Fellowship report explores the term ally, the ally role, the qualities of an ally, and challenges and responses faced by those who work as allies of Indigenous people and/or undertake anti-racism work.