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Systemic Intervention - Philosophy, Methodology and Practice (Contemporary Systems Thinking)

Systemic Intervention - Philosophy, Methodology and Practice (Contemporary Systems Thinking)

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This book aims to rethink systemic intervention to enhance its relevance for supporting social change in the 21st Century. Section One focuses on the philosophy of systemic intervention; Section Two on methodology; and Section Three on practice. Throughout the book, arguments are provided for why philosophy, methodology and practice all have a role to play in our thinking about systemic intervention.

Section One introduces the notion of systems philosophy, concentrating on the preoccupation of systems thinkers with undertaking 'holistic' or 'comprehensive' analyses. Section Two of the book then goes on to examine the methodological consequences of taking this new approach. First, the concept of intervention is introduced. This is defined as purposeful action by an agent to create change, and is contrasted with observation. Next, the systems philosophy outlined in Section One is related to the methodology of intervention, and it is suggested that 'systemic intervention' is purposeful action by an agent to create change in relation to reflection on boundaries. Then the case is made for theoretical pluralism. This follows on logically from the theory of boundary critique because every theory is based on either implicit or explicit assumptions about the appropriate boundaries for analysis. Finally, Section Three of this book starts with some background to the author's own intervention practice in Community Operational Research (dealing with problematic issues in community contexts). Four examples of systemic intervention are provided, each of which is used to illustrate a different aspect of the methodology outlined in Section Two. The book then ends with an invitation to the reader to begin to practice systemic intervention and contribute to its further development.