Social Change

Social Change

Exploring how contemporary change mechanisms are challenging national and global power. read more

Social Change Introduction

This theme examines complex contemporary change mechanisms in civil society, focusing on local processes as well as globally-connected civic movements that are a crucial part of shifting power dynamics. Organized communities and individuals, operating through formal and informal mechanisms and supported by information and communication technologies, are reshaping the spectrum of opportunities and challenges in the public sphere. Citizens increasingly organize themselves from local to transnational arenas.

Globalization and modernization has been challenged by countermovements, from local uprisings to mass civic revolt. At community levels, self-organization is gaining recurring importance for the security of livelihoods. Such upsurges expose citizens’ capabilities and need to express their voices in politics and the global economy, and to take control over their own lives in a globalized world.

With the Social Change theme, The Broker wishes to enrich the analysis on such dynamics by connecting civil society movements, community governance, policy-makers, development institutions and academia. This means a focus on the role of traditional institutions (for example governments, political parties, NGOs, trade unions) and increasing their responsiveness to citizens’ concerns is required. It also entails questioning development models on their ability to answer citizen’s demands and exploring alternatives to governance models from local and community perspectives.  Also, increasing the means for citizens to hold their governments accountable and to rise up against the erosion of fundamental rights is necessary. At the same time, this has also exposed the need to move beyond exclusive state-centred and representative conceptions of democracy, and to find new ways to reflect citizen’s voices in global governance.

Social change blog

The Broker is back!

 | 18 December 2012

The Broker is back! For the past month, our editorial team has been working hard to put together aDossier on Inequality,...

read more

Editorial articles

South Africa's global ambitions

Jean-Paul Marthoz | February 21, 2013

In 1994, the new South Africa emerged as a promising foreign policy actor. It launched ambitious plans to develop the continent and expressed a strong commit...

read more
Putting inequality on the map

Putting inequality on the map

Sara Murawski | December 18, 2012

In recent decades, inequality has been increasing worldwide. Although the middle classes are growing, most of the world’s population continues to live close...

read more
Stalling growth and development

Stalling growth and development

Naomi Woltring | December 18, 2012

Inequality hinders sustainable economic growth, allows the rich a disproportionate share of political power, and fosters violence and criminality.

read more
Probing new prospects

Probing new prospects

Daniel Large | October 10, 2011

China’s prominence in global development means it has a host of new, multilateral responsibilities. How will it respond to its new status?

read more
Turkey turns the tide

Turkey turns the tide

Jean-Paul Marthoz | February 10, 2011

Contrary to what its critics think, Turkey is not 'adrift' but shaken by the pitch and roll resulting from a fundamental rethinking of Turkishness.

read more
ALL SOCIAL CHANGE ARTICLES

Expert opinions

Cracks in Turkey’s image as role model

Bertil Videt  | 04 June 2013

Turkey needs to address human rights and inequality to be a role model for emerging powers.

read more

Systemic change, but how?

Toon van Eijk  | 03 June 2013

Implementing systemic change requires consciousness development.

read more

Trade unions are crucial to economic transformation

David Cichon  | 30 May 2013

Trade unions are crucial in transforming the economy since they fight for the democratic inclusion of all participants.

read more

Looking at South America for answers

Milford  Bateman  | 23 May 2013

South American countries are experimenting with the social and solidarity economy (SSE) model. It’s time for the West to learn from them, argues Milford Bateman.

read more

Employment is the key to food security

Kees Blokland  | 12 March 2013

Many small-scale farmers look for opportunitiesout of agriculture. The only way by doing this without increasing their food insecurity isrural employment.

read more
ALL SOCIAL CHANGE EXPERT OPINIONS

Dossiers

Inequality

Inequality

Inequality is at the heart of the debate of how to create a more sustainable world.

read more
Social protection

Social protection

An estimated three quarters of the world’s population has no access to basic social protection.

read more
Social entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurship

The potential to increase the socioeconomic impact of social enterprises

read more
Future Calling

Future Calling

How INGOs can help transform societies: thick solutions for thick problems. Join us!

read more
ALL DOSSIERS

Related content on SciDev

Related content on SciDev