DILC and the ProblemLady; Phase 3, the activists

The Dialectic Issue LifeCycle Model (DILC) is a very cool heuristic for thinking about how some societal problems become issues, what industry does when the problems climb the political agenda and how the issues are (or aren’t) ‘resolved’.  Here’s a video starring its progenitors.  The DILC has five phases, and looks at three categories of actors in detail – those trying to get the issue onto the agenda, those trying to keep it off/to shape the problem into a soluble issue, and the state functionaries (elected and non-elected).

Last year I came up with the idea of each of these ideal types writing letters to an agony aunt during each of the phases, seeking her strategic advice.  I am posting these 15 (well, 16) letters and responses, one per day, over the next two weeks or so.

Today, Phase three, the activists

Dear ProblemLady,

Woohooo!  I am writing not with a problem, but to gloat!  We’ve done a newspaper article analysis, thanks to some superb “how to” advice from some guy called Caetano Penna. It turns out that EVERYBODY is talking 

LOTS about our issue!!  Policymakers are being forced to debate measures and possible solutions.  Everyone agrees something must be done. In your face, ProblemLady!!

Social Movement Achieving Serious Hegemony!


there was once this very powerful king who wanted to inscribe timeless wisdom on the walls of his palace. He gathered his wisest advisers and asked them to come up with a saying that would be true forever.  And they came up with “this too shall pass.”

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