Cultural Dilemmas of Progressive Politics
Styles of Engagement among Grassroots Activists
Through case studies of grassroots movements—particularly the economic justice work carried on by congregation-based community organizing and the pursuit of human rights by local members of Amnesty International—Hart shows how these groups develop distinctive ways of talking about politics and create characteristic stories, ceremonies, and practices. According to Hart, the way people engage in politics matters just as much as the content of their ideas: when activists make the moral basis for their activism clear, engage issues with passion, and articulate a unified social vision, they challenge the recent ascendancy of conservative discourse.
On the basis of these case studies, Hart addresses currently debated topics such as individualism in America and whether strains of political thought strongly informed by religion and moral values are compatible with tolerance and liberty.
I. How We Engage in Politics and Why It Matters
1 Varying Styles of Political Activity
II. Congregation-Based Community Organizing
2 How Congregation-Based Community Organizing Works
3 The Religious and Political Perspective of Community Organizing
4 Stories and Practices of Community Organizing
Conclusion to Part II: Expansive and Constrained Discourse in Community Organizing
III. Human Rights and Amnesty International
5 The Human Rights Tradition and Amnesty International
6 Cultural Work in Amnesty International
Conclusion to Part III: Dilemmas in Human Rights Discourse
IV. How Should We Talk about Politics?
7 Individualism and Its Discontents
8 Integrating Culture and Politics
A. Results from Two National Surveys of Congregation-Based Community Organizing
B. A Catholic Framework for Economic Life (U.S. Catholic Conference)
C. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen (Republic of France)
D. The Bill of Rights and Supporting Documents (United States of America)
E. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations)
F. Excerpts from the Statute of Amnesty International