The Strategy Project
For years, activists in various social movements have asked me what academic work
they should read to make them more effective as strategists. It's always been an
embarrassing question, because there was almost nothing to recommend. So about ten
years ago, I started reading various literatures that bear on this issue: diplomacy and
international relations, game theory, conflict theory, research on war and sports. The
mathematical approach called game theory seemed to dominate the academic
approach to strategy, unsatisfactorily, so I've tried to develop a sociological challenge
and alternative to game theory, which would be more cultural and institutional. When I
have time, I'll put more information about it here, but for now you can order my book
Getting Your Way from my homepage.
Here is an article from 2004 that applies my emerging perspective to social movements:
And here is a paper on the Innovation Dilemma, for a volume called The Dark Side of
Click here for a piece on the Stigmatized Identity Dilemma.
Here is a piece on choice points and emotional batteries from Maney et al, Strategies
for Social Change.
Click here for an article on strategy from the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social and
Here are three draft chapters that were going to be in Getting Your Way. They are
rough literature reviews of sociological theory, princely advice and military theory, and
game theory for how they approach strategic action:
"The Cult of the Situation"
"The Cult of the Decision"
"The Dilemmas of Game Theory" If I were doing this today, I would devote a separate
chapter to behavioral economics, even though most of this chapter was about classical