Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change (Paperback)

A Theory and Practice of Social Change

By Adam Kahane, Jeff Barnum (Illustrator)

Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 9781605093048, 172pp.

Publication Date: January 4, 2010



War is no way to resolve our most problematic group, community, and societal issues, but neither is a peace that simply sweeps our problems under the rug.
To create lasting change we have to learn to work fluidly with two distinct, fundamental drives that are in tension: power--the single-minded desire to achieve one's solitary purpose; and love--the drive towards unity. They are seemingly contradictory but in fact complimentary. As Martin Luther King put it, "Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic." Using revealing stories from complex situations he has been involved in all over the world--the Middle East, South Africa, Europe, India, Guatemala, the Philippines, Australia, Canada and the United States--Kahane reveals how to dynamically balance these two forces. Just as when we are toddlers we learn to shift from one foot to the other to move ourselves forward, so we can learn to shift back and forth between power and love in order to move society forward.

About the Author

Adam Kahane is a partner in Reos Partners, an international organisation dedicated to supporting and building capacity for innovative collective action in complex social systems, and a Visiting Practitioner at the University of Oxford and the University of Waterloo.