Dana Fisher - Activism, Inc.: How the Outsourcing of Grassroots Campaigns Is Strangling Progressive Politics in America



Dana Fisher - Activism, Inc.: How the Outsourcing of Grassroots Campaigns Is Strangling Progressive Politics in America
Publisher: Stanford University Press | 2006-07-26 | ISBN: 0804752176 | File type: PDF | 168 pages | 1.05 mb


"For a charmingly recherché complaint, check out Activism, Inc. by Dana R. Fisher. Fisher, who teaches sociology at Columbia, is upset about the professionalization of grass-roots campaigning, which she believes has sliced the bottom rung off the political ladder and keeps inspired young people from entering politics and pointing it in a more salubrious direction."
The New York Times Book Review
"This book describes how grassroots politics has withered and what must be done to revive it. A timely message for America in the 21st century."
Former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley
"An original grassroots critique as to why progressive citizen groups and the Democratic Party are failing to prevail and weakening themselves. Dana Fisher argues that you cannot outsource democratic movements. Listen up, national progressive groups, Fisher's insights are lighting up the path to greater effectiveness. Democrats would be well advised to put this book at the top of their reading list. That is, if they want to understand better how to win elections."
Ralph Nader
Activism, Inc. introduces America to an increasingly familiar political actor: the canvasser. She's the twenty-something with the clipboard, stopping you on the street or knocking on your door, the foot soldier of political campaigns.
Granted unprecedented access to the "People's Project," an unknown yet influential organization driving left-leaning grassroots politics, Dana Fisher tells the true story of outsourcing politics in America. Like the major corporations that outsourced their customer service to companies abroad, the grassroots campaigns of national progressive movementsincluding Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Save the Children, and the Human Rights Campaignhave been outsourced at different times to this single organization. During the 2004 presidential campaign, the Democratic Party followed a similar outsourcing model for their canvassing.
Fisher examines the history and rationale behind political outsourcing on the Left, weaving together frank interviews with canvassers, high-ranking political officials across the political spectrum, and People's Project management. She compares all of this to the grassroots efforts on the Right, which remain firmly grounded in communities and local politics.
This book offers a chilling review of the consequences of political outsourcing. Connecting local people on the streets throughout America to the national organizations and political campaigns that make up progressive politics, it shows what happens to the passionate young activists outsourced to the clients of Activism, Inc.


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