Communicating the FutureSolutions for Environment, Economy and Democracy
Communicating the Future
Solutions for Environment, Economy and Democracy

We are facing an unprecedented environmental crisis. How can we communicate and act more effectively to make the political and economic changes required to survive and even thrive within the life-support capacities of our planet?

This is the question at the heart of W. Lance Bennett’s much-anticipated book. Bennett challenges readers to consider how best to approach the environmental crisis by changing how we think about the relationships between environment, economy, and democracy. He introduces a framework that citizens, practitioners, and scholars can use to evaluate common but unproductive communication that blocks thinking about change; develop more effective ways to define and approach problems; and design communication processes to engage diverse publics and organizations in developing understandings, goals, and political strategies. Until advocates develop economic programs with built-in environmental solutions, they will continue to lose policy fights. Putting “intersectional” communication into action requires acknowledging that communication is not only an exchange of messages, but an organizational process.

<i>Communicating the Future</i> is important reading for students and scholars of media and communication, as well as general readers concerned about the environmental crisis.

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  • January 2021
  • 192 pages
  • 140 x 219 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $59.95
  • 9781509540440
  • Paperback $19.95
  • 9781509540457
  • Open eBook $16.00
  • 9781509540464
About the Author
W. Lance Bennett is Emeritus Professor of Political Science and Communication, and Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Journalism, Media and Democracy at the University of Washington.
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Reviews

In these turbulent times, when we are all struggling to imagine a new normal, Lance Bennett provides a compelling, provocative, and highly readable vision for constructing a new social reality.  His approach is grounded in communication. To act more effectively on our many environmental crises, Bennet argues we need to start thinking and communicating differently, focusing on the intersections among global and local environmental, economic, and political dynamics. Through a well-documented and engaging analysis of the spread of ideas that challenge leading societal paradigms, such as the rise of neoliberalism, Bennett develops the  “idea flow model” of political communication. He masterfully demonstrates how “communication is most powerful when ideas are produced and packaged so that they can travel over different social networks and flow into popular narratives about who we are and how we want to live.”  This is an important and timely book. Communicating for the Future makes a significant contribution to our theoretical understanding of communication, networks, organization, and social change and simultaneously provides a thought-provoking, hopeful, and practical strategic guide for creating a more viable future.
Cynthia Stohl, University of California, Santa Barbara

Communicating the Future asks big questions and offers big ideas alongside a synthesis of insights from digital media research, political communication, and social movement studies to fight fragmentation in how we respond to and analyze the existential threat posed by the global climate emergency.”
Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, University of Oxford

“Lance Bennett provides a compelling, provocative vision for constructing a new social reality. This important book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of communication, networks, organization, and social change and provides a thought-provoking, hopeful, and practical guide for creating a more viable future.”
Cynthia Stohl, University of California, Santa Barbara

"With Communicating the Future: Solutions for Environment, Economy, and Democracy, W. Lance Bennett has written a compact, accessible, and useful book that compliments—in both substance and tone—influential works such as Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything, Bill McKibbon’s The End of Nature, and Naomi Oreskes’s Merchants of Doubt."
The International Journal of Communication

"'Communicating the Future' is an original work of simply outstanding scholarship—making it critically important reading for students, scholars, and practitioners of media and communication, as well as political activists and non-specialist readers concerned about dealing with the environmental crisis."
Midwest Book Review 

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