Jane Anne Morris (1953-2019) was a Corporate anthropologist, activist, and author, who worked on many issues including local democracy, the environment, human rights, labor organizing, energy, police brutality, health care access, and food security.
Morris’ Doctoral research grew out of her activism working with a group of semi-rural people who had organized to oppose stripmining in their county. She focused on the board and staff of the Texas electric utility, the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) involved in the stripmining project.
“By tracing the relationships and actions of board members, staff personnel, and regulatory agency representatives, I was able to map out and extensively document the specific strategies that enable public utility companies such as this one to successfully obtain permit after permit and carry out their plans, despite very vocal, well-organized, well-informed, and to my mind, valid, local opposition.”
Informed by this decade-long stripmining campaign, Morris wrote and published her first book Not In My Backyard: The Handbook (1994) “as a manual for the ‘average citizen’ who wakes up one morning and discovers that something new and unwanted is planned for their neighborhood.”
“In 1996, she coined the phrase ‘democracy theme park’ to describe the way decades of corporate strategy have undermined democracy to the extent that citizens are left pulling at the levers of a democratic system, levers that are not connected to anything.”
Read her complete bio at the Democracy Theme Park website.
Check out NCRN web post for more resources.
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