Social movements contentious politics and revolution

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Social Movements, Contentious Politics, and Revolution\ Actors/Agents Social Movements: contentious politics: episodic, public collective interaction between claimants, group claim-making against some other actor, typically a parallel challenger group or the state/regime. Social movements: series of contentious performances, displays, and campaigns by which ordinary people make collective claims on others. Organizations of networks individuals specifically organized for collective action and contentious politics. Social movements are merely the vehicle for contentions. A successful movement should be able to connect its message to large parts of the population, focus grievances on a target, mobilize participants. How to mobilize: 1) Grievances/ “Relative “Deprivation” disparity between what you have and what you think you deserve. 2) Free Rider problem- rational individuals won’t take part in protest if they get the benefits without participating. 3)Social movement organizations- mobilizing organization to get people moving, Selective incentives- rewards they can only get as members, activist/movement entrepreneurs- people are brought together by ambitious, energetic, charismatic leadership, Networks- basis for collective action, recruitment ground for movements and leaders. A successful movement should be able to connect its message to large parts of the population, focus grievances on a target, and mobilize participants. How to succeed: framing process- politics of signification, construction of meaning. Cultural reservoir- frames must resonate with public/potential activists. Movements activate symbols, myths, of the society and tactics that have worked in the past. Structural variables- Political Opportunity Structures: features of regimes that effect the likely outcome of contentious actions- 1) Decentralization or centralization of regime power, 2) regime’s flexibility and openness to new actors and/or extent to which regime represses or facilitates collective claim-making. 3) Instability of current political alignments. 4) Availability of allies or supporters. 5) Decisive changes in any of the above. Useful to think Political Opportunity Structure as an opening or closing door/vulnerability of the system. Modularity, Diffusion, and Contagion : Modularity- the ability of a frame or protest to move from site to site. Often aided by a catalyst event that acts as a symbol, fraudulent elections; widespread repression; police brutality; economic austerity. Diffusion/Contagion: spread/radiation of protest/revolution from country to country. What affects diffusion? Elite defection: elites begin to doubt the validity of the regime; co-opt the revolution to try to save themselves. Elite learning: elites notice what is going on over time and learn how to counter diffusing protests. Revolution : a public seizure of the state in order to overturn the existing government and/or regime. Political revolutions simply remake the regime. Social revolutions remake society. Stage 1: Cracks appear, Stage 2:
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  • Spring '13
  • Brown
  • Nationalism, wealthier countries, Nationalism Ethnic Group/Ethnic

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