Just had lunch
Presenting a paper you didn’t write (more…)
Archive for April, 2009
What is the role of narrative in mobilizing people? Marshall Ganz of Harvard’s Kennedy School starts with Alexis de Tocqueville and tells how he was so impressed with the rich associational life here in the United States, and how participation in associations drove people into relationships with each other, so they could learn about their common interest. Common interest that was the result of learning about each other, not as an aggregation of individual interest – there was a synergistic quality to association. The promise of democracy is an equality of voices for distribution of resources – and while this does not always happen in practice – it does highlight the importance of people coming together with common interest so they can act on it, and thus exerting power. It is crucial that associations are voluntary – they participate not because of coercion.