Many democratic societies are experiencing a crisis of faith. Citizens are making clear their frustration with their supposedly representative governments, which instead seem driven by the interests of big business, powerful individuals and wealthy lobby groups.
What can we do about it? How do we fix democracy and get our voices heard?
The answer, argues Alberto Alemanno, is to become change-makers – citizen lobbyists. By using our skills and talents and mobilizing others, we can bring about social and political change. Whoever you are, you’ve got power, and this book will show you how to unleash it.
From successfully challenging Facebook’s use of private data to abolishing EU mobile phone roaming charges, Alberto highlights the stories of those who have lobbied for change, and shows how you can follow in their footsteps, whether you want to influence immigration policy, put pressure on big business or protect your local community.
Alberto Alemanno is a public interest lawyer, legal scholar and Civic entrepreneur. He's a Professor at both HEC Paris and New York University School of Law, founder and CEO of eLabEurope, and co-founder of The Good Lobby. In short, a man who knows his stuff.
The fact that we live in troubling times is, I imagine, fairly obvious to everyone. As someone who places himself fairly left on the political spectrum, events of recent years have felt a little like a waking nightmare, the constant enabling of the far right shifting the political spectrum to a place I'm wholly uncomfortable with. I've always been politically active, but have I ever thought that I could make a noticeable change myself? No. I'm a small cog in a big machine, but I never thought anyone would notice if I went in an opposite direction for a while. Instead, as Alemanno shows here, small cogs can make a huge difference.
Citizen Lobbying is, as Alemanno explains, a way to influence and make change as an individual - and his fantastic book gives readers the tools, knowledge and power to do so. Combining his fast experience and inspiring way of thinking with hard facts and real case stories of genuine, successful citizen lobbying, Alemanno shows the way forward for those who want to make change.
This isn't a light guide either - it's clear that a huge amount of preparation has gone into creating this work, and dividing the book into three sections allows the reader an introduction to the issues at hand, provides solutions for them, and then usefully provides the reader with a vast toolbox full of information to send them out into the world a newly energised lobbyist.
Inspiring, informative and filled with a spirit of hope and forward thinking, Alemanno's work is exactly what we need in this age - and I'm hopeful that those who read it will be filled with the urge to go out and Lobby for Change