Articles By Robert Fuller

The Dignitarian University – html | pdf

Democracy’s Next Step: Building a Dignitarian Society – html | pdf

What Divides Americans – html | pdf

A Dignitarian Movement – html | pdf

The Mother of All Isms – html | pdf

A New Look at Hierarchy – pdf

Rankism in the Workplace: The Hidden Barrier to Success – pdf

Terrorism’s Roots Lie in “Rankism” – html | pdf

Why Schools Aren’t Winning Hearts and Minds – pdf

The Myth of Meritocracy – html | pdf

Enron: Rankism Writ Large – html | pdf

The Politics of Dignity – pdf

Rankism: Hidden Barrier to Success – pdf

A Beautiful Friendship – pdf

Bridging Left and Right – pdf

Malrecognition – pdf

The Right Way Lost and Found – pdf

Vocabulary for a Dignitarian Society – pdf

The Nobody Manifesto – html


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Robert Fuller’s Articles in Print and Online

Dignity – A Unifying Value for American Politics. Huffington Post, June 2006.

A Dignitarian Manifesto. Political Cortex, June 2006.

“Democracy’s Next Step: Overcoming Rankism.” GDI_Impuls. Gottleib Duttweiler Institute. Zurich. January 2005.

Dignity is not Negotiable,The Globe and Mail. Toronto, Canada. November 2003.

“First Among Isms.” The Sydney Morning Herald. June 2003.

A New Look at Hierarchy. Leader to Leader. No. 21. Summer 2001.

“Somebodies and Nobodies: Rankism and What it Means.” Social Problems – Readings with Four Questions. 2nd Edition. Joel M. Charon and Lee G. Vigilant, eds. (Thomson/Wadsworth, 2006.)

“Rank Divides America.” Newsday. 3 August 2003.

“Rankism: The Mother of All Isms.” Pacific News Service. JINN Magazine. Issue 6.20. October 2000.

“Rankism on Trial — The ‘N’ Word of the 90’s is ‘Nobody.'” Pacific News Service. JINN Magazine. 24 October 1997.

“Time for Accepting Rankism Has Passed.” The New Zealand Herald. Auckland. 8 March 2005.

“Toward a Dignitarian Health Care System: Reckoning with ‘Rankism’ in Medicine.” Holistic Primary Care. Vol. 6, No. 2. Summer 2005.

“What Divides America: Not Racism or Sexism but ‘Rankism’ Keeps All from Being Equal.” Newsday. Long Island, NY. 3 August 2003.

Democracy’s Next Step – Overcoming Rankism. Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies.

Rank Divides America. August 2003.

“Time for Accepting Rankism Has Passed”. The New Zealand Herald. Online edition. March 2005.

Why Schools Aren’t Winning Hearts and Minds. Pacific News Network. 28 November 2000. [Also published in The Berkeley Daily Planet and La Prensa in San Diego.]


3 thoughts to “Articles”

  1. Hi I couldn’t find an appropriate website administrator contact for your site so I’m just using this one. i want to let you know that that PDF for A New Look at Hierarchy only shows every second page of the article. It appears someone may have forgotten to photocopy both sides of a page. I havn’t looked at your other articles.


  2. Pleased to have found this site as it resonates with all sorts of other challenges to conventional rank relationship practices happening in various contexts. You might be interested in, if you arn’t already aware of it, an article I came across recently on a closely related theme by Dennis Tourish (a management consultant) in the Long Range Planning journal in 2005 entitled: ‘Critical upward communication: ten commandments for improving strategy and decision-making’. His experience in management consulting for companies had him convinced that a key problem in these organisations is the lack of upwards critical feedback which he said was created both by fawning or fearful deference of lower ranking staff and the tendency for this and other practices to promote conceit in senior managers. He argued that it becomes a real problem for the effectiveness of companies because the hierarchical rank(ism) practices (including excessive perks etc) tended to prevent valuable ideas and information being shared but also tended to make the senior managers themselves immune to information that did not conform to the positive view they had of themselves or the company. For example, he found a notable pattern that managers tended to accept without question those parts of the research on their organisational health that was positive about them but would question and reject research that was negative. He also draws on concepts used in psychological research to identify the way these tendencies work.
    Other important resonances at the institutional level would be the mutual accountability – mutual respect movement that is emerging in international aid delivery – both in the ‘establishment’ aid industry via the Paris Declaration but also in a more potentially radical ways via NGOs. Some very interesting experiments with new ways to ensure upwards accountability of govt officials (linking with democratisation techniques), mutual respect in partnerships with aid donors, happening India and elsewhere, but actually practicing and embedding new ways of working are still the exception rather than the rule (ie more talk than walk).

  3. I would like to offer an opinion that the word ‘respect’ may be a more appropriate word to use than ‘dignity’ for describing and promoting your core concepts. Firstly, I think the word ‘respect’ is more accessible and instantly recognisable to a wider range of people for what it means than the word ‘dignity’. In my experience, dignity is a word that people with more education (or NGO / civil rights training) are are more familiar with using – and even then not everyone – and generally I think its not a word that is used as often as respect (I’ve lived in Australia and New Zealand). I wondered why i felt immediately that ‘dignity’ didn’t seem quite right to me so i looked up both definitions on wiki… According to wiki ‘dignity’ is a word that is renowned for being difficult to get a consensus on what it means but the most common definition is ‘to be human and alive’. A broad value about respecting anyone who is a human being (not animals apparently…) just for being. This to me is more akin to a religious ethic or a ‘motherhood’ value arising in the civil rights era that these days can be too easily dismissed (not that i have anything against it personally, but i suspect that it is a term that would meet more resistance). ‘Respect’ i think is more grounded in practice as it captures the idea that someone defers to another on the basis of a genuine admiration and/or valuing of that person (which could also be understood as contextual or meritocratic). ‘Respect’ of course already has traction as a concept in variety of contexts and political orientations ranging from practical, liberal, conservative to leftist. There is also Richard Sennett’s book called ‘Respect’ which is very relevant to this too. Finally, I suspect ‘Dignitarian Movement’ is not likely to be a catchy phrase – i would say it stands out a mile as an intellectuals’ movement – and I’m sure you don’t want that. The advantage of ‘Respect movement’, for example, is that it would be more instantly recognisable what this movement is about.

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