So, public policy theories talk about tipping points/sudden eruptions. I’m thinking of Baumgartner and Jones ‘Punctuated Equilibrium Theory’ (the clue is in the name) and also Multiple Streams Approach and ‘policy windows’. And then there’s Bill Moyer and the “Movement Action Plan” (abused and mis-used by some so-called activists, but that’s not his fault.)
Then, in this rather excellent interview with two actual activists (h/t Sam) there’s the following
When you referenced the Englers’ book [This is an Uprising: How Nonviolent revolt is shaping the 21st century] , you referred to the “moment of the whirlwind.”
EJ: Right. There can be all this work that builds and builds, and then all of a sudden, something changes—whether it’s political, in this case, or purely social, all of sudden everything is up for grabs, and there’s a wholly different kind of energy. And it’s possible to use that energy, especially if you’ve done the work ahead of time. And I think we are totally in that kind of moment now. I actually think that in this case, it’s going to be an extended moment, lasting years, where there will be waves of these moments of the whirlwind. It’s all of the energy that we’re seeing flow into our movement. And you know, look at what happened at the airports the other day. They had something very specific to do, and all of a sudden, everyone just showed up. But people were also, in any number of ways, ready to show up. It didn’t happen out of nothing. But when you’re ready, and when you’ve been doing the planning and making the connections, and talking to people about the risks and that kind of thing, and a moment like that presents itself, then things can cohere in a really remarkable way.
I am skeptical that it can be sustained of course (more Occupy flash in the pan), and will be blogging about that and Manchester shortly. We. Lack. Absorptive. Capacity.