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Lessons for Social Change in the Global Economy

Voices from the Field

Edited by Shae Garwood; Sky Croeser and Christalla Yakinthou - Contributions by Sarah Adler-Milstein; Caroline Baillie; Mark Barenberg; Kristina Areskog Bjurling; Jessica Champagne; Bharati Chaturvedi; Sky Croeser; Ralph Early; Eric Feinblatt; Shae Garwood; Theresa Haas; Michael Heasman; Claire Litton-Cohn; Sanjiv Pandita and Fahmi Panimbang

Discussion questions developed by the authors can be found here.

In the face of globalization’s massive social and economic transformations and the resulting persistent inequality, activists, labor organizers, and advocacy NGOs are seeking and creating change beyond the confines of formal state politics and across national borders. Given the breadth of local issues activists face, the ways they define the problem and seek redress vary widely. This book provides a unique perspective on these efforts, gathering into one volume concrete examples of the implementation of different strategies for social change that highlight the challenges involved. This provides useful lessons for those involved in social change, as well as for those studying it. Contributors to the volume are scholars and practitioners around the world, and they draw on strong connections with people working in the field to improve working conditions and environmental standards of global production systems. This allows readers to develop a more comprehensive and grounded understanding of strategies for social change.

This book maintains a strong balance between breadth and specificity. It provides an overview of the themes of social change, which contextualizes and draws common threads from the chapters grounded in specific geographic locations and political spaces of change. The chapters analyze environmental and social problems and the varying degrees of success activists have had in regulating industries, containing environmental hazards, and/or harnessing aspects of an industry for positive social and economic change. Contributors draw upon different ways of creating change, which include corporate social responsibility schemes, fair trade regimes, and community radio. By providing insight into the potential and limitations of actions taken at different levels, the book encourages a critical perspective on efforts for social change, grounded in an understanding of how conditions around the world can affect these activities.
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Lexington Books
Pages: 194Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/2
978-0-7391-8775-3 • Hardback • December 2013 • $84.00 • (£54.95)
978-1-4985-2563-3 • Paperback • November 2015 • $44.99 • (£29.95)
978-0-7391-8776-0 • eBook • December 2013 • $41.99 • (£27.95)
Shae Garwood is honorary research fellow at the University of Western Australia.

Sky Croeser is honorary research associate at Curtin University.

Christalla Yakinthou works with the University of Birmingham's Institute for Conflict, Cooperation, and Security.
Foreword by Mark Barenberg

Chapter 1: Agents and methods of social change in the global economy

Shae Garwood and Sky Croeser
Chapter 2: The Right to organize, living wage, and real change for garment workers

Sarah Adler-Milstein, Jessica Champagne and Theresa Haas
Chapter 3: Waste for Life: poverty-reducing technologies for repurposing waste at the margins

Baillie and Eric Feinblatt
Chapter 4: From toxic to green: turning mountains of e-waste into green jobs

Bharati Chaturvedi
Chapter 5: Social justice and fairness in global food systems

Michael Heasman and Ralph Early
Chapter 6: Challenging work: working conditions in the electronics industry

Marisol Sandoval and Kristina Areskog Bjurling
Chapter 7: Global supply chains – struggle within or against them?

Sanjiv Pandita and Fahmi Panimbang
Chapter 8: Increased visibility for marginalized voices in the production and consumption of First Nations media

Claire Litton-Cohn and Sky Croeser
Chapter 9: Reflections on lessons for social change

Sky Croeser and Shae Garwood
In recent decades it has become easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine even modest changes in the mode of production. The voices in this inspiring volume, of academics and activists engaged in a rich variety of struggles against the primacy of the market, point to the possibility of a world that is not entirely for sale. With stirring examples of determination to contest neoliberal forces that have brought about significant improvements in people’s lives, this collection is a must-read book for those who continue to hope for social change in the global economy.
Verity Burgmann, Monash University