From Anger to Action tells the stories of the citizens' movements charting new paths to tackle the big global challenges that lie behind the political upheavals of our times. Drawing on candid insights from citizens, activists, and innovators, and their own experiences as leaders of internationally recognized advocacy organizations, the authors give an insider account of the battle for change and how it can be won – as well as trenchant criticism of where traditional civil society has lost its way and needs renewal. While unflinching on the dangers of the current political crises, the book offers hard-edged hope and a vision for citizen-led change to reshape our fractured politics.
We meet communities in economically-battered towns welcoming refugees and Syrian peacebuilders reaching across impossible divides, go behind the scenes with Fairtrade banana farmers and hear of frenzied climate campaigners pushing divestment from oil companies and using social media to drive change. Lamb and Jackson explore how citizens' movements are transforming our global politics, refashioning internationalism and fighting back against narrow nationalism. The book analyses why some movements secure lasting change – and others fail. And they show how these insights could shape a wider strategy for grassroots-up transformation.
From Anger to Action will be of interest to social activists and anyone interested in social movements, global change, and civil society.
Prologue: Hope Is Happening ix
1 The Journey to Change 1
2 Citizenquake 11
3 The Timed Test We Cannot Fail 33
4 The Doves Take on the Drones 65
5 Seeds of Hope among Displaced Lives 87
6 The 99 Percent Fights Back 109
7 A Tale of Two Pandemics 137
8 The Past as Prologue to Our Future 151
9 The Three Wheels of Change 169
About the Authors 211
Ben Jackson has had a distinguished career working on foreign affairs and international development networks, including serving as CEO of the Bond Network for international development NGOs.
Harriet Lamb is CEO of Ashden, an organization that supports sustainability throughout the world. Previously she was CEO of International Alert and CEO of UK Fairtrade International.
"If we are to "build back better" after this terrible COVID-19 pandemic we will need an operating manual, a blueprint to show us how it should be done. Harriet Lamb and Ben Jackson have just delivered that blueprint. Drawing on their decades of activism in the past they now point to a new age of resistance for the future. Whether it is the cooperatives producing parmesan in Italy's Emilia Romagna region or tracking the cost of climate pollution, they show how citizen power has pointed the way to a "social economy" that serves the people and the planet. This is a manifesto for a new kind of future, an action plan for change."
– George Alagiah, BBC journalist and author
"As this inspiring book shows, civil society is a powerful force for good. It's also clear that civil society groups need to constantly evolve to meet the new challenges of the age, including rethinking organisational models to keep pace with a shifting global landscape. Great story-telling and call for action."
– Danny Sriskandarajah, chief executive, Oxfam Great Britain
"A must-read for students, academics and researchers."
– Dr. Jude Howell, London School of Economics
"A manifesto for citizen activism in our troubled times."
– Dr. Vandana Shiva, Indian scholar and environmental activist
"A truly human book, challenging, uplifting, intelligent and necessary."
– Philippe Sands, author of East West Street, Professor at University College London
"High praise for this empowering and important book that truly is a great read."
– Molly Harriss Olson, CEO Fairtrade Australia/New Zealand, former White House adviser
"A must read for social activists and ordinary citizens who want to learn how their actions can help to change the world."
– Professor John Gaventa, Institute of Development Studies