Thanks for the responses James, I found them thoughtful and helpful!
A few responses in return:
On your point regarding the methodology you would use to answer these questions, I would definitely be interested to hear more about that as I'll be finalising my research methodology over January.
To pin down my thinking a bit more, this is vaguely it: I believe public opinion is quite important for social change -> Mass movements can be useful tools to build public support -> Protests can be a cost-effective way of building public support and building a mass movement.
Thanks for clarifying. One thing I'll note is that this is a multi-stage hypothesis, so you have to be right about quite a few different things for this to end up mattering.
I think you're right in that I haven't been very clear on what my proposed intervention is e.g. incubate a new movement vs organise protests vs a mass movement not focused on protest. That is something I'll definitely try clarify in future research but partly I think this is due to my own uncertainty on this topic which makes it hard to pin down.
When you put it like this, I think it's definitely legit and in fact wise not to have pinned down your proposed intervention: after all, you haven't done the research yet, and might discover things which update your current guesses in important ways. Sorry for not getting this before, and implying that you should already know the answer here!
Could I just check if you have any examples of what you would consider empirical social movement studies vs theoretical? As my initial hunch is that most of that work would fit into the theoretical categories but wondering if I'm drawing my boundaries different to you e.g. would conclusions from a very detailed case study be empirical or theoretical?
I guess most things have aspects of both theory (~statements about how stuff works in general) and empirics (~statements about particular stuff that's happened). A few different ways of gesturing at what I personally mean here:
Another one: Alex Hill and Jaime Sevilla, Attempt at understanding the role of moral philosophy in moral progress (on women’s suffrage and animal rights)
Some more recent things:
Also fwiw, I have read the ACE case studies, and I think that the one on environmentalism is pretty high quality, more so than some of the other things listed here. I'd recommend people interested in working on this stuff to read the environmentalism one.
Thanks for this post James! I found it thought provoking.
Overall, I'm still not sure what I make of your claims. There are a few things contributing to this, including:
I think the main reason I'm not sure what I think of your claims is that I felt that the post wasn't crisp/precise enough about which interventions you think it might be good to have more of. Some questions that point towards my unclarity here:
I could give more examples of my confusions here. Definitely part of what's happening here is that I am personally confused about how these concepts and phenomenon relate. Another contributor is that I haven't taken the time to carefully go through your post and construct the clearest most charitable take here. I'm quite sure that if I did this, it would already clear up quite a bit of my confusion. But I also think it's likely that you could benefit from expressing yourself more crisply here. I think clarity here matters for two main reasons:
There are also a few more specific points I'd like to raise:
I'm excited to see what further research comes out of your project. Some particular things I'd be interested to see:
Thanks for the informal post! I really liked it, and probably wouldn't have read the whole paper.
I have a few thoughts that I'd be curious for your take on.
I'm a bit unsure how generally the papers you're looking at apply to the broad question of changing values. A few intuitions:
To progress, we’d need to study the cultural legacy of intentional movements. This is a much harder topic, where quantitative proxies will be hard to come by.
Do you have any ideas about how to make progress on this? E.g. examples of intentional movements that seem worth looking into, proxies that might work...?
Some examples of policy stuff RSPers have done:
Some examples of community building related stuff RSPers have done:
I think it can be a good fit for either of those groups. Currently most people are more in the academic work category, but we have a few RSPers who are working on more policy engagement style work, and having a fair bit of success.
It's also worth pointing out that plenty of RSPers don't fall neatly into either camp:
Impressiveness: good question, but feels hard to express without going into lots of detail, so I'm going to pass.
Acceptance rate: 9/~150, then 10 out of ~250. We're planning to take 8 in this round. The summer fellowship was 27/~300.
Some support options, briefly:
Apologies for the brief response, writing in haste!
Thanks for this! I agree that a lot of the value of RSP won't become obvious until after the programme (and also want to flag that as our first cohort is only finishing this autumn, it's still quite uncertain how large this value will be).
At this stage, the best information we have on how things will shape up for scholars after the programme is what our first cohort have lined up to do immediately after the programme - see here.
Strong agree, thanks for pointing this out Ollie