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Kahane, A: Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social C

A Theory and Practice of Social Change

Adam Kahane

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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.

Adam Kahane is a partner in Generon Reos LLC, an international consulting and capacity-building firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Generon Reos is a member together with colleagues in Johannesburg, London, and Sao Paulo of REOS Partners, a global partnership that supports innovation in complex social systems. Adam is a designer and facilitator of processes and has worked in more than fifty countries, in every part of the world, with executives and politicians, generals and guerillas, civil servants and trade unionists, community activists and United Nations officials, clergy and artists. Adam is a native Canadian born in Montreal.


Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 192
Erscheinungsdatum 26.12.2009
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-1-60509-304-8
Reihe Agency/Distributed
Verlag Random House N.Y.
Maße (L/B/H) 21.6/14.2/1.4 cm
Gewicht 258 g
Abbildungen mit Illustrationen


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  • Preface

    Introduction: Beyond War and Peace

    Two fundamental drives

    Our full world

    Two pitfalls

    An imperative

    Chapter 1: The Two Sides of Power

    Generative power

    Degenerative power

    Love is what makes power generative

    Chapter 2: The Two Sides of Love

    Generative love

    Degenerative love

    Power is what makes love generative

    Chapter 3: The Dilemma of Power and Love

    Chapter 4: Falling

    Improving child nutrition in India

    How to fall

    Chapter 5: Stumbling

    Bridging divides in Israel

    Building democracy in South Africa

    How to stumble

    Chapter 6: Walking

    Growing sustainable food in Europe and the Americas

    Mitigating climate change in Canada

    How to walk

    Conclusion: To Lead Means to Step Forward

    Becoming aware of both our power and our love

    Balancing ourselves

    Practicing moving fluidly

    Stepping forward





    About Reos Partners

    About the author and the artist