Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Strategic Alliances

Strategic Alliances: Coalition Building and Social Movements_x000B_

Nella Van Dyke
Holly J. McCammon
Volume: 34
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 376
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Strategic Alliances
    Book Description:

    Strategic Alliances provides pioneering analysis of the circumstances leading to movement alliances. Contributors investigate coalition dynamics among social movements, including antiwar, environmental, and labor movements, as well as ethnic organizations and women’s groups. While many of the essays examine coalition formation in the United States, others consider coalitions in Britain, the former East Germany, East Asia, and Latin America.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-7539-5
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction: Social Movement Coalition Formation
    (pp. xi-xxviii)
    Nella Van Dyke and Holly J. McCammon

    Political and economic changes over the past several decades have been met with a renewed emphasis from both activists and scholars on the importance of social movement coalitions. Internationally, activists are increasingly seeking collaborators across national borders in response to globalization and the rise of transnational corporations and governing bodies. These changed circumstances have created both threats and opportunities for international mobilization and coalition building (Smith 2004; Tarrow 2005). Other activists, like those in the antiapartheid movement of South Africa, driven by repression and limited opportunities at home, have reached beyond their borders for collaborators to assist in pressuring their...

  5. Part I. Social Ties and the Development of Movement Coalitions

    • 1 The Prehistory of a Coalition: The Role of Social Ties in Win Without War
      (pp. 3-21)
      Catherine Corrigall-Brown and David S. Meyer

      On February 26, 2003, the day President George W. Bush sought public support for war with Iraq on prime-time television, American citizens staged a virtual march on the White House and Congress against the war. Activists reported that supporters delivered more than a million phone calls, e-mail messages, and faxes to the White House and Senate offices in eight hours. In fact, every senator’s office and the White House switchboard received at least two, and often more, calls per minute, and many callers had to settle for busy signals. The goal of the march was to enable hundreds of thousands...

    • 2 Policing Capital: Armed Countermovement Coalitions against Labor in Late Nineteenth-Century Industrial Cities
      (pp. 22-49)
      Larry Isaac

      By the late 1870s, the nascent American labor movement was becoming increasingly locked in a struggle with local employer countermovements. Many employers worked to negatively frame and actively destroy unions intent on organizing their workers. Workers often responded by striking against their bosses. These contentious relations led to the great flash points of class struggle during the Gilded Age decades of the late nineteenth century: the national rail strike (1877), the massive eight-hour strikes (1886), Homestead steelworkers’ and New Orleans dockworkers’ (1892) strikes, and the Pullman strike (1894), among others. Employers mobilized police (Johnson 1976), hired private detective agencies (Smith...

    • 3 Interstate Dynamics and Transnational Social Movement Coalitions: A Comparison of Northeast and Southeast Asia
      (pp. 50-76)
      Dawn Wiest

      State leaders around the world have embraced regionalism as a desirable model for organizing and managing interstate relations. Because social movements develop within a context of institutionalized power relations, the reorganization of interstate relations through regionalism has important implications for transnational mobilization.¹ Building and maintaining transnational coalitions is a difficult process. Cultural heterogeneity, distance, and diverse national political systems impose obstacles, and politicized divisions between countries also complicate efforts to organize transnationally. With the increasing power of international institutions over national economic and social policy, however, activists separated by national boundaries have found common ground. Further, interstate organizations such as...

  6. Part II. Movement Ideology and Coalition Formation

    • 4 Approaching Merger: The Converging Public Policy Agendas of the AFL and CIO, 1938–1955
      (pp. 79-98)
      Daniel B. Cornfield and Holly J. McCammon

      Now, more than fifty years after its formation, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) continues to play an important role in shaping public policy. The labor federation has promoted its broad public policy agenda on social welfare, labor law, employment policy, international trade, public education, and other public policies in federal and state legislatures (Brady 2007; Cornfield and Fletcher 1998; Frege and Kelly 2004). At the time of the AFL-CIO merger, observers noted that pursuing a comprehensive legislative agenda was one goal of the merger. Among the AFL-CIO legislative objectives were improvements in Social Security,...

    • 5 “Organizing One’s Own” as Good Politics: Second Wave Feminists and the Meaning of Coalition
      (pp. 99-118)
      Benita Roth

      In the following, I argue that shared ideas about the proper way to organize militated against U.S. feminists forming coalitions across racial/ethnic lines in the 1960s and 1970s, the period commonly referred to as the second wave of feminist protest. Feminist mobilizations in the United States during that period were part of a heightened cycle of social protest (Tarrow 1994). I use the plural in discussing second wave feminist organizing because that organizing was characterized by multiple origins and resulted in organizationally distinct movements (B. Roth 2004). Most literature on the second wave has emphasized the twin social bases from...

    • 6 The Strength of Weak Coalitions: Transregional Feminist Coalitions in Eastern Germany
      (pp. 119-140)
      Katja M. Guenther

      During the collapse of state socialism in East Germany in 1989 and the subsequent unification of East and West Germany in 1990, women in East Germany mobilized first to bring feminist concerns into discussions of a reformed socialism and, when the dissolution of the German Democratic Republic (GDR, or East Germany) became inevitable, to preserve some of the gender equity policies of the GDR in the unified Germany. Yet by late 1990, women’s social movement activity in eastern Germany was increasingly scarce at the national level. The primary organization representing eastern German women, the Independent Women’s Association (Unabhängiger Frauenverband), was...

  7. Part III. Broad Political Influences on Social Movement Coalitions

    • 7 Organizing across Ethnic Boundaries in the Post–Civil Rights Era: Asian American Panethnic Coalitions
      (pp. 143-169)
      Dina G. Okamoto

      Thousands of Asian Americans rallied outside of New York’s city hall in May 1996 to protest city councilwoman Julia Harrison, who had been quoted in aNew York Timesarticle published on March 31 about the growing Asian population in Queens. Harrison had spoken at length about the immigrants in her district, describing Asians as criminals, rude merchants, and illegal aliens. She blamed them for inflated housing prices, increased levels of crime, and the depressed wages of native-born workers (Toy 1996). Despite the fact that most of the Asian immigrants in Harrison’s district were Chinese, more than forty social, political,...

    • 8 Social Movement Partyism: Collective Action and Oppositional Political Parties
      (pp. 170-196)
      Paul Almeida

      This chapter examines coalitions between oppositional political parties and social movements. I draw on evidence from recent trends in Latin American politics from Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Uruguay, emphasizing the forces driving oppositional political parties into alliances with social movements and how the alliances adopt extraparliamentary strategies of seeking political influence. In particular, the region’s recent democratization and the ongoing economic threats associated with neoliberal policies forge the movement–party relationship. A sustained and potent coalition between a political party and social movements typically emerges when a majority of public opinion opposes economic liberalization policies and membership overlap...

    • 9 Political Opportunity and Social Movement Coalitions: The Role of Policy Segmentation and Nonprofit Tax Law
      (pp. 197-218)
      Brian Obach

      Coalition formation is an increasingly important social movement strategy. The number of organizations engaging in coalition activity has risen markedly in recent decades, and evidence suggests that joining together with allies is important to movement success (Gamson 1990; Hula 1999; Van Dyke 2003). Whether or not social movement organizations (SMOs) engage in coalition strategies and with whom they ally are influenced by a number of factors. Coalition scholars have analyzed the impact of such variables as resource availability, the emergence of political threats, the types of movement organizations in a given environment, past SMO strategy, and shared identities.

      Political opportunity...

    • 10 Sustained Interactions? Social Movements and Coalitions in Local Settings
      (pp. 219-238)
      Mario Diani, Isobel Lindsay and Derrick Purdue

      In this chapter, we look at coalition activity in two British cities with very different political cultures and traditions: Bristol and Glasgow. However, we do so from a slightly different angle than other studies of the same topic; we take up some basic issues regarding the relationship between social movements and coalitions. We posit that coalition work among activists and their organizations can occur before the formation of a social movement, or atleast before the entrance of these specific activists and their groups into the social movement. We argue that the shift from coalition interactions among organizations to their social...

  8. Part IV. Coalitions and Combinations of Causal Factors

    • 11 Crisis as a Catalyst for Cooperation? Women’s Organizing in Buenos Aires
      (pp. 241-265)
      Elizabeth Borland

      Women’s movements in Argentina have long been divided along lines of class, sexual orientation, and other social cleavages. Yet in the wake of Argentina’s 2001 political and economic crisis, there were attempts to overcome these barriers. By examining how activists did so, this project adds to a growing body of literature on the dynamics of social movement coalitions. The case of co-operation in the women’s movement in Buenos Aires confirms the importance of external threats for the emergence of coalitions, particularly in the way a crisis can affect relationships between groups in the women’s movement.

      In this chapter, I outline...

    • 12 Sudden Mobilization: Movement Crossovers, Threats, and the Surprising Rise of the U.S. Antiwar Movement
      (pp. 266-291)
      Ellen Reese, Christine Petit and David S. Meyer

      According to antiwar organizers, in April 2002, more than 100,000 demonstrators gathered in Washington, D.C., to protest against the threat of war in Iraq. Nine months later, on January 18, 2003, millions participated in internationally coordinated protests in at least thirty countries. In the United States, the activist International Action Center (2003) reported that these protests drew 500,000 in Washington, D.C.; 200,000 in San Francisco; and thousands to tens of thousands in cities across the country. Predictably, mainstream media estimates of these events were generally smaller, but it was clear that a mass-based antiwar movement had grown astonishingly quickly and...

    • 13 Applying Qualitative Comparative Analysis to Empirical Studies of Social Movement Coalition Formation
      (pp. 292-315)
      Holly J. McCammon and Nella Van Dyke

      Although scholars have long recognized the importance of organization to collective action (e.g., McCarthy and Zald 1977; Tilly 1978), only recently have coalitions among those organizations received attention from sociologists. A spate of recent research has identified a number of factors that influence coalition formation, including both organizational characteristics that lead activists to form coalitions and contextual circumstances that set the stage for such alliances. Scholars have demonstrated that congruent organizational ideologies and identities, shared social ties, a resource-rich environment, and political threats and opportunities play a role in coalition formation. In our introduction to this volume, we discuss in...

  9. Conclusion: Research on Social Movement Coalitions
    (pp. 316-330)
    Suzanne Staggenborg

    Coalitions seem obviously important to both social movement scholars and activists; by combining resources and coordinating strategies, movements and their allies are bound to be more effective in achieving goals and creating social changes in culture, institutions, and public policy. Scholarly research on movement coalitions has increased steadily in the past twenty years, and the present volume makes important contributions to the growing body of coalition research. Researchers generally agree that the rise and effectiveness of coalitions are influenced by a combination of environmental, organizational, and ideological factors. Beyond recognizing these key influences, new research in this volume and elsewhere...

  10. Contributors
    (pp. 331-334)
  11. Index
    (pp. 335-343)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 344-345)