Power to the People

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Author: Danny Sriskandarajah

Category: Literature & literary studies

Book Format: Paperback / softback

Publisher: Headline

ISBN: 9781035414246

RRP: $34.99


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Power to the People addresses growing voter apathy and disenchantment worldwide – that familiar sense that governments have become decoupled from their constituencies, that votes no longer count, and that politicians and institutions are too focused on short-term issues to grapple with complex global issues such as climate change and rising inequality.

The book is structured into two halves, the first half diagnosing problems and the second half proposing solutions. Danny urges readers to make a positive difference through engagement and active citizenry. He calls for reform of outdated Bretton Woods organisations such as the IMF and World Bank, and for greater use of citizens’ assemblies. The proposal contains some fascinating examples of citizen power in action such as Avaaz’s campaign to take down a notoriously corrupt politician in Brazil.

From public ownership of social media spaces to democratising share ownership, and from re-energising co-operatives to creating a people’s chamber at the United Nations, this campaigning book has a clear mission to make us reclaim our power as citizens of the world.

Danny Sriskandarajah is the child of Tamil migrants who fled Sri Lanka’s civil war for Australia, before moving to the UK in 1998. After running CIVICUS, the Johannesburg-based alliance of civil society organisations with members in more than 180 countries, he became CEO of Oxfam GB in early 2019 with a brief to sort out Oxfam’s failure to prevent sexual abuse in Haiti and elsewhere. He did so quickly, introducing reforms, notably by involving partner organisations, and by challenging Oxfam’s fund-raising orthodoxies.

Danny is at heart a thinker and a radical who believes that governmental and charity structures are based on outdated nineteenth-century models. His opinion pieces have been published in newspapers in more than 30 countries, and he regularly appears on broadcast media, including programmes such as the BBC’s Today programme and Question Time. He has spoken at over 500 events in some 70 countries, including at the United Nations General Assembly, the World Economic Forum Annual Meetings at Davos, and committees of both Houses of the UK Parliament. He tweets @dhnnjyn

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