How Change Happens: Interdisciplinary perspectives for human development

Publication date

26 Feb 2007

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Has development thinking become too narrow and specialised? Does it fail to draw on learning from outside the realm of development studies about how social change happens? This report presents an overview of approaches used to explain social change from a wide range of academic perspectives, from history, politics and economics to psychology and geography. These are summarised in a useful table, which presents a series of questions as a flexible tool for thinking about how change happens. The author argues that current development thinking uses only a narrow range of approaches to change and the result is that most development strategies are limited. There is a need for broader thinking about how change happens, so that we can be more creative in devising strategies and more adept at facing the huge challenges that confront our societies and planet.