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The Politics of Social Protest

The Politics of Social Protest: Comparative Perspectives on States and Social Movements

J. Craig Jenkins
Bert Klandermans
Volume: 3
Copyright Date: 1995
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 392
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  • Book Info
    The Politics of Social Protest
    Book Description:

    Bringing together celebrated scholars from diverse traditions and backgrounds, this volume focuses on the reciprocal relationships among social movements, states, and political parties. The essays are organized around three key questions: Why do citizens resort to the often risky and demanding strategy of using disruptive protest when other channels of political intervention appear to be available? What is the relationship between social protest movements and systems of political representation? And what is the impact of the structure and development of the state on social movements themselves? Contributors include Ronald Aminzade, Paul Burstein, Russell J. Dalton, Donatella della Porta, Henry Dietz, Rachel L. Einwohner, Steven E. Finkel, Jerrold D. Green, Jocelyn Hollander, Hanspeter Kriesi, Diarmuid Maguire, Bronislaw Misztal, Edward N. Muller, Michael Nollert, Karl-Dieter Opp, Dieter Rucht, Michael Wallace, and Gadi Wolfsfeld.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8582-0
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Part I. Introduction

    • Chapter 1 The Politics of Social Protest
      (pp. 3-13)
      J. Craig Jenkins and Bert Klandermans

      Surprisingly little attention has been paid to the interaction between social movements and the state. This is all the more surprising given the central importance of social movements as forces for political change in the contemporary world and the importance of the state in shaping political change. Whether we look at the interaction between social protesters and party politics in the United States or Western Europe or at the democratization struggles in Eastern Europe, China, or Latin America, the nature and development of social movements cannot be understood without reference to the central role of the state. As the institutionalized...

    • Chapter 2 Social Movements, Political Representation, and the State: An Agenda and Comparative Framework
      (pp. 14-36)
      J. Craig Jenkins

      The global upsurge of social movements over the past few decades has placed the question of the state and its relationship to social movements at the center of the intellectual agenda. In the United States, the social protests of the 1960s and the rise of professional advocacy in the 1970s spurred discussions about the mobilization of resources and the political processes that facilitate social movement success in terms of changing public policies and institutional practices. In Western Europe, the rise of the alternative movements and the Green parties challenged the postwar political consensus, questioning the benefits of economic growth and...

  4. Part II. The Origins of Social Protest:: Ideology, Regimes, and Oppositions

    • Chapter 3 Between Movement and Party: The Transformation of Mid-Nineteenth-Century French Republicanism
      (pp. 39-62)
      Ronald Aminzade

      Scholars disagree about the role of informal and formal organization in the constitution of a social movement. Theories rooted in the collective behavior tradition typically emphasize informality, spontaneity, and emergent norms. In this tradition, social movements, like panics, crazes, and riots, involve relatively unstructured and informally organized behavior. “As a collectivity,” write Ralph Turner and Lewis Killian, “a movement is a group with indefinite and shifting membership and with leadership whose position is determined more by the informal response of adherents than by formal procedures for legitimizing authority” (1987,p.223). Collective behavior theorists typically acknowledge the importance of formal organization only...

    • Chapter 4 Left-Right Ideology and Collective Political Action: A Comparative Analysis of Germany, Israel, and Peru
      (pp. 63-95)
      Karl-Dieter Opp, Steven E. Finkel, Edward N. Muller, Gadi Woljsfeld, Henry A. Dietz and Jerrold D. Green

      Identification with “left” or “right” ideologies often has been hypothesized to play a significant role in motivating individuals to participate in unconventional political activities such as protest or political violence. Yet the limited empirical evidence regarding the strength and nature of the relationship between ideological identification and protest behavior has been inconclusive. Muller (1979), for example, found a relatively strong tendency for ideological “leftists” to participate in “aggressive political behavior” in his analysis of West German national survey data from the 1970s, and this finding subsequently was replicated in later surveys gathered in New York City and among members of...

    • Chapter 5 The New Class, Postindustrialism, and Neocorporatism: Three Images of Social Protest in the Western Democracies
      (pp. 96-137)
      Michael Wallace and J. Craig Jenkins

      The upsurge of social protest in the Western democracies over the past several decades has sparked a wide-ranging discussion about the origins and legitimacy of protest action. What were once seen as marginal or perhaps even deviant modes of political activity have now become a staple of the political system. Where once protest was centered among political outsiders, such as the working classes and ethnic minorities, it is today used by neighborhood associations, antiabortion advocates, supporters of women’s rights, and a wide variety of political groups. At least three general interpretations have been advanced to account for this contemporary protest...

    • Chapter 6 Neocorporatism and Political Protest in the Western Democracies: A Cross-National Analysis
      (pp. 138-164)
      Michael Nollert

      The idea that intermediate groups are a central factor in political stability has a venerable heritage. In the preface to the second edition ofDe la division du travail social(1986 [1893]), Emile Durkheim argued that strong intermediate groups were the most effective remedy for the increasing anomic tensions in modern society. Professional societies, unions, guilds, and community organizations would simultaneously regulate anomic tensions among individuals and restrain the increasingly powerful and centralized nation-state. In the 1950s proponents of mass society theory revitalized Durkheim’s theory by arguing that pluralistic competition among strong interest groups mediated the relationship between individuals and...

  5. Part III. The Structure of Political Opportunities:: Protest and Electoral Politics

    • Chapter 7 The Political Opportunity Structure of New Social Movements: Its Impact on Their Mobilization
      (pp. 167-198)
      Hanspeter Kriesi

      The crucial contention of the so-called political process approach to social movements is that social processes impinge indirectly, via a restructuring of existing power relations, on social protest (McAdam 1982). This contention has received considerable support from Skocpol’s (1979) analysis of social revolutions. As she has shown, social revolutions are typically triggered by a political crisis that weakens the control exercised by the political system on the population. Similarly, the analysis of a century of collective violence in France, Germany, and Italy by Tilly et al. (1975) has indicated that the rhythm of collective violence did not so much depend...

    • Chapter 8 Opposition Movements and Opposition Parties: Equal Partners or Dependent Relations in the Struggle for Power and Reform?
      (pp. 199-228)
      Diarmuid Maguire

      In capitalist democracies, political parties must work within both state institutions and civil society in order to maintain or increase their power. They have to operate within the institutional frameworks that shape state policy and through the social networks that help establish political consensus. Otherwise, they risk the possibility of political impotence and electoral defeat. Similarly, protest movements need to mobilize civil society and, at the same time, influence political institutions. Mass mobilization keeps a movement alive, while political influence gives it some relevance. In this way, political parties and protest movements operate on the same terrain; they often cross...

    • Chapter 9 Left-Libertarian Movements in Context: A Comparison of Italy and West Germany, 1965–1990
      (pp. 229-272)
      Donatella della Porta and Dieter Rucht

      Several attempts have been made to analyze social movements from a diachronic or a synchronic perspective or both. Inspired by Eisinger, who demonstrated a curvilinear relationship between the incidence of protest in U.S. cities and the challengers’ access to local political decision making (Eisinger 1973, p. 28), increasingly complex models have been elaborated to explain a growing number of dependent variables. Most of this work has referred to a “political opportunity structure” as a set of independent variables (Tarrow 1983; Tarrow 1989b; Brand 1985; Kitschelt 1986; Kriesi 1989b, 1991). The use of this concept in cross-national comparison, however, involves three...

  6. Part IV. The State and Movement Outcomes:: System Transformations and Political Reform

    • Chapter 10 The Success of Political Movements: A Bargaining Perspective
      (pp. 275-295)
      Paul Burstein, Rachel L. Einwohner and Jocelyn A. Hollander

      “The interest of many scholars in social movements stems from their belief that movements represent an important force for social change,” write McAdam, McCarthy, and Zald in theHandbook of Sociology(1988, p. 727). This belief, in fact, has provided an indispensable justification for the studies of social movements conducted since the field was revitalized in the 1970s. At the heart of Gamson’s pathbreaking work,The Strategy of Social Protest(1990 [1975]), is the claim that movement participation should be viewed as a rational way to achieve political goals, riskier than more conventional types of political action (such as voting),...

    • Chapter 11 Strategies of Partisan Influence: West European Environmental Groups
      (pp. 296-323)
      Russell J. Dalton

      Nearly two decades ago, a new policy controversy emerged on the political agenda of advanced industrial societies—environmental quality. The significance of the environmental issue involves more than just the emergence of new policy interests, however. These interests led to the creation of a new environmental movement and a renewal of the earlier nature conservation movement. By many accounts, membership in these groups now exceeds formal political party membership in many European democracies. Moreover, the environmental movement has become a very visible and contentious new actor in the policy process of most West European democracies. The American sociologist Robert Nisbit...

    • Chapter 12 Starting from Scratch Is Not Always the Same: The Politics of Protest and the Postcommunist Transitions in Poland and Hungary
      (pp. 324-340)
      Bronislaw Misztal and J. Craig Jenkins

      Communism was a system of incomplete social change. Originally launched in East Central Europe as a Utopian project to overcome the problems of economic scarcity and class inequality in relatively backward societies, it proved unable to meet the challenge of competition with Western capitalism. Although it succeeded in creating an industrial base in societies that had been largely agricultural, it failed to generate a mechanism for sustained economic and technological progress. Despite significant advances in education and public health, the polity remained a restrictive system of controlled participation and opportunistic political activism that generated considerable alienation, especially among the industrial...

  7. Bibliography
    (pp. 341-364)
  8. Contributors
    (pp. 365-370)
  9. Author Index
    (pp. 371-376)
  10. Subject Index
    (pp. 377-381)