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Beyond the Culture of Contest
From Adversarialism to Mutualism in an Age of Interdependence

Author: Michael Karlberg
Product Code: BCCS
ISBN: 978-0-85398-489-4
Publisher: George Ronald Publisher
Pages: 265
Availability: In stock
Price: $26.95


How can social change come about? Is it possible to have democratic government without political parties? Can we have a productive economy without unfettered and aggressive competition? How can social and ecological ills be addressed without resorting to a 'culture of protest'?

Adversarialism has become the predominant strand in contemporary western-liberal societies. Throughout the contemporary public sphere, competitive and conflictual practices have become institutionalised norms.

In his analysis of contemporary society, Michael Karlberg put forward the thesis that our present 'culture of contest' is both socially unjust and ecologically unsustainable and that the surrounding 'culture of protest' is an inadequate response to the social and ecological problems it generates. The development of non-adversarial structures and practices is imperative.

Dr Karlberg considers various historical and contemporary expressions of mutualism, including expressions within feminism, systems theory, ecology and environmentalism, communication theory and alternative dispute resolution, and presents a case study of the Baha'i community and its experience as a working, non-adversarial model of social practice. The prescriptions and practices of the Bahá’í community provide a viable and workable alternative to the culture of contest.

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