Reconsidering the theoretical foundation of prospective practices (PART 3): the causal logic of interventions and achieving transformative change

Prospective practices often try to change the course of change, not just anticipate or predict change. However, the underlying causal logic of such interventions tends to be under theorised and/or remains mostly tacit. In the evaluation literature this causal logic is often termed the “intervention theory”, or the “program theory”, or underlying “theory of change”. …

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Reconsidering the theoretical foundations of prospective practices (PART 2) – a field theory perspective

In this post I consider the theory of “social fields” developed by two influential American sociologists, Neil Fligstein and Doug McAdam, drawing principally on their book A Theory of Fields (Oxford University Press, 2012). A Theory of Fields offers “a general theory of social change and stability rooted in a view of social life as …

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Reconsidering the theoretical foundation of prospective practices (PART 1)

Authors of papers on prospective practices often take one of two stances: 1) they argue that these are learned crafts (and certainly not a science), and question the need for greater theorisation or greater use of theory; or 2) they, increasingly, question whether they have an adequate theoretical foundation, point to gaps, and/or try to …

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