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Clicking on the title of an item takes you to the bibliographic reference for the resource, which will typically also contain an abstract, a link to the full text if it is available online, and links to related topics in the subject index. Particularly recommended items have a red Connexions logo beside the title.

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  1. Beyond the Abdication of Power
    Resource Type: Book
    First Published: 1978
    Presents an argument against the views expressed by Kokopeli and Lakey in Leadership For Change. Raises thought provoking issues it raises and demonstrates situations and assumptions under which consensus is not appropriate.
  2. Blocking Progress 
    Consensus Decision Making In The Anti-Nuclear Movement

    Resource Type: Article
    First Published: 1983
    Howard Ryan maintains that consensus is wrong in principle and in practice: "The problem is not so much that individuals are being irresponsible or somehow abusing the consensus process. The problem lies in giving individuals that kind of power in the first place. Consensus turns majority rule into minority rule. That's not democracy."
  3. Building United Judgement
    A handbook for consensus decision making

    Resource Type: Book
    First Published: 1981
    Describes the techniques and skills which groups can apply to make the principles of consensus work effectively.
  4. A Chill Descends On Occupy Wall Street
    The Tangled Purse Strings

    Resource Type: Article
    First Published: 2011
    Undemocratic movements are vulnerable to being taken over by a vocal minority or a chraismatic individual.
  5. The collective decides...
    Resource Type: Article
    First Published: 1991
    The obsession with 'process politics' leads to an obsession with all aspects of internal structure and its working. As a result, the collective can often lose sight of its larger political objectives and the primacy of the form of organisation over the political objectives it was set up to meet. This often occurs in two stages. At the outset the collective process is regarded as equally important to whatever political purposes the group might have. Later the process itself often comes to be seen as of primary importance
  6. Connexions Digest
    Volume 12, Number 1 - Fall 1988 - A Social Change Sourcebook

    Resource Type: Serial Publication (Periodical)
    First Published: 1988
  7. Connexions Library: Organizing Focus Page 
    Resource Type: Website
    Selected articles from the Connexions Online Library.
  8. Consensus decision-making 
    Connexipedia Article

    Resource Type: Article
    First Published: 2010
    Article about the group decision making process known as consensus decision-making.
  9. Consensus Decision Making: An Analysis of the Literature
    Resource Type: Book
    First Published: 1977
    Includes a look at historical interest in consensus, an overview of research with critiques, and recommendations for future research. Brings together most of the current empirical findings in research about consensus.
  10. Critique of Nonviolent Politics 
    From Mahatma Gandhi to the Anti-Nuclear Movement

    Resource Type: Book
    First Published: 1984   Published: 2002
    Ryan accepts that sometimes nonviolence can be effective, but says that sometimes it is not: "a principled insistence on nonviolence can in some circumstances be dangerous to progressive social movements." He says that nonviolence theory "is troubled by moral dogma and mechanical logic."
  11. Diemer, Ulli
    Connexipedia Article

    Resource Type: Article
    First Published: 2010
    Canadian socialist publisher, writer, and archivist.
  12. Home!
    A Bioregional Reader

    Resource Type: Book
    First Published: 1990
    A guide to the vision and strategy of bioregionalism.
  13. It Ain't the Meeting Its The Motion
    Resource Type: Article
    A guide to conducting productive and inclusive meetings in the context of social change.
  14. A Manual for Group Facilitators
    The Center for Conflict Resolution

    Resource Type: Book
    First Published: 1977
    The values, assumptions and techniques of group facilitation. Especially useful to people planning workshops. Includes sections on communication, conflict, problem solving, what can go wrong and what to do about it, and many other relevant topics.
  15. On Organization 
    Resource Type: Article
    Discusses the democratic organizational forms appropriate to libertarian socialist organizations.
  16. One Vote for Democracy 
    Consensus vs. democracy

    Resource Type: Article
    First Published: 1986
    Makes the case that the democratic model is better than the consensus model for activist group decision-making.
  17. Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - July 3, 2015
    Greece and thd debt crisis

    Resource Type: Serial Publication (Periodical)
    First Published: 2015
    Our spotlight this issue is on the debt crisis facing Greece. To understand the crisis, one has to look beyond the mainstream media to alternative sources of information. We've done that, with articles that set out to analyze the nature of the debt burden that has been imposed on the citizens of so many countries, not just Greece. Also: celebrating Grace Lee Bogg’s 100th birthday.
  18. Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - September 10, 2016
    Back to School

    Resource Type: Article
    First Published: 2016
    Education - about the world, and about social change in particular - is a key element in the work that Connexions does. In this issue of Other Voices, we explore a few aspects of the ways in which education and educational institutions are changing. We also look at ways in which education is used to bring about change.
  19. Radical Digressions 
    Resource Type: Website
    First Published: 2006   Published: 2017
    Ulli Diemer's website/blog featuring comment from a radical left-libertarian Marxist perspective.
  20. Resource Manual for A Living Revolution 
    A Handbook of Skills & Tools for Social Change Activists

    Resource Type: Book
    First Published: 1977   Published: 1985
    A manual for people who are concerned or angered by the deterioration of our society and who, because they have some sense that their efforts can have an effect on change, are looking for tools to transform it. It is a working reference for those who are prepared to act to create a better life for themselves and others.
  21. Social Anarchism, Individualist Anarchism, the State and Leninism
    A Reply to the International Socialist Organization

    Resource Type: Article
    First Published: 2009
    I take it that social or Left-anarchism and libertarian socialism are the same thing. Both stand opposed to Leninism, and both stand opposed to individualist anarchism.
  22. The Socialist Register 1968
    Volume 5: A Survey of Movements & Ideas

    Resource Type: Serial Publication (Periodical)
    First Published: 1968
  23. The Theology of Consensus 
    Resource Type: Article
    First Published: 2015
    Consensus decision-making has dominated social movements for forty years. Let’s try something different. Outside of small-group settings, consensus process is unwieldy, off-putting, tiresome, and ineffective. Many inclusive, accountable alternative methods are available for making decisions democratically. If we want to change the world, let's pick ones that work.
  24. Traite du Savoir-Vivre for the Occupy Wall Street Generations 
    Resource Type: Article
    First Published: 2011
    Once upon a time, twenty thousand people descended on Wall Street, the capitol of capital, occupied it nonviolently, and won exactly what they demanded. This is not a fairy tale. It really happened. This is the story of how it happened.
  25. Transforming Power
    From the Personal to the Political

    Resource Type: Book
    First Published: 2009
    Rebick champions new ways of achieving political goals by emphasizing co-operation and consensus over confrontation and partisanship.
  26. The Tyranny of Structurelessness 
    Resource Type: Article
    First Published: 1970
    Contrary to what we would like to believe, there is no such thing as a "structureless" group. Any group of people of whatever nature that comes together for any length of time for any purpose will inevitably structure itself in some fashion. The structure may be flexible; it may vary over time; it may evenly or unevenly distribute tasks, power and resources over the members of the group. But it will be formed regardless of the abilities, personalities, or intentions of the people involved.
  27. A View of the Occupy Wall Street Movement from the Inside
    A Participant's Critique of the Occupation of Wall Street

    Resource Type: Article
    First Published: 2011
    The Occupy Wall Street movement was supposed to be a revolt against a hierarchal, dehumanizing oligopoly. In reality, all that was created was a microcosm of the same system, but with new leaders. Like our nation's leaders, Occupy Wall Street’s leaders listened to everyone’s grievances, then decided upon a pre-determined plan of action that cleverly borrowed the language of their constituency.
  28. Wall Street occupation ignites mass movement
    Resource Type: Article
    First Published: 2011
    The simple, horizontal structure originally created around a GA using modified consensus has become a barrier to practical and political work by the occupiers and those involved through working groups.
  29. What is Consensus?
    Resource Type: Article
    First Published: 1984
    Consensus evolved from the meeting process of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). It is a non-violent way for people to relate to each other as and in a group. Successful use of a consensus process depends on people understanding the idea and wanting to use it.
  30. Why Consensus Decision-making Won't Work for Grassroots Unionism
    Resource Type: Article
    First Published: 2009
    Wetzel contrasts consensus decision-making with democratic decision-making to explain why the latter is more suited to activist groups.
  31. Wobblies & Zapatistas 
    Conversations on Anarchism, Marxism and Radical Theory

    Resource Type: Book
    First Published: 2008
    Wobblies and Zapatistas offers readers an encounter between two generations and two traditions. Staughton Lynd and Andrej Grubacic meet in dialogue in an effort to bring together the anarchist and Marxist traditions, to discuss the writing of history by those who make it, and to remind us of the idea that 'my country is the world'.
  32. Working Collectively
    Resource Type: Book
    First Published: 1984   Published: 1985
    A handbook for people wishing to form collectives, or established collectives seeking solutions to problems such as power imbalances, conflict meditation, and setting priorities.

Experts on Consensus in the Sources Directory

  1. Connexions
  2. Ulli Diemer
  3. Fair Vote Canada

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