Scenarioplanning - social futures


The power of local interests 
Theda Skocpol, a political scientist and sociologist at Harvard, has documented how changes in political practice have further broken down the power of local interests. Grassroots networks like the American Farm Bureau Federation and the American Legion once served to channel federal resources to meet local demand. Today, she has found, politicians rely on TV ads and professional consultants, rendering those community-based groups less relevant.

Associations Without Members - Theda Skocpol 1999

Bringing Academics into the Grassroots Game - Theda Skocpol 2012 
The purpose of the network is to build bridges between scholars in colleges and universities who research policy and social issues and the activists, journalists, and policymakers who might find their work relevant.

Prospect's series on progressives' strategy over the next 40 years  
What’s the road map for a progressive future? 
... The Powell Memo must be reckoned as one of the most successful political directives in history. The chamber and American big business took his ideas to heart. ... and established and funded a host of new institutions (or reinvigorated old ones, like the American Enterprise Institute. ... the Heritage Foundation, the Cato and Manhattan institutes, and other pillars of laissez-faire thought and right-wing propaganda.

Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community 
Robert D. Putnam 2000.
... he suggests the main cause is technology "individualizing" people's leisure time via television and the Internet, suspecting that "virtual reality helmets" will carry this further in future.
An Interview with Robert Putnam ... 

Social Capital and Human Capital 
James S. Coleman deserves primary credit for developing the "social capital" theoretical framework. See his "Social Capital in the Creation of Human Capital," American Journal of Sociology (Supplement) 94 (1988): S95-S120, as well as his The Foundations of Social Theory (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1990), 300-21. ... 

Culture and Economic Development 
Ronald Inglehart, "The Impact of Culture on Economic Development: Theory, Hypotheses, and Some Empirical Tests" (
unpublished manuscript, University of Michigan, 1994). ... 

The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community
Marc J. Dunkelman
... The author documents a dramatic cultural shift whereby more attention is paid to the “outer” and “inner ring” populations, with little to no advancements made in cultivating “middle ring” relationships. He blames the quick-hit interactions afforded by the digital revolution along with social networking and reprioritized social opportunities and motivations. ... ...