In the Interest of Others: Organizations and Social Activism (Google eBook)

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Princeton University Press, Sep 8, 2013 - Political Science - 336 pages
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In the Interest of Others develops a new theory of organizational leadership and governance to explain why some organizations expand their scope of action in ways that do not benefit their members directly. John Ahlquist and Margaret Levi document eighty years of such activism by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union in the United States and the Waterside Workers Federation in Australia. They systematically compare the ILWU and WWF to the Teamsters and the International Longshoremen's Association, two American transport industry labor unions that actively discouraged the pursuit of political causes unrelated to their own economic interests.

Drawing on a wealth of original data, Ahlquist and Levi show how activist organizations can profoundly transform the views of members about their political efficacy and the collective actions they are willing to contemplate. They find that leaders who ask for support of projects without obvious material benefits must first demonstrate their ability to deliver the goods and services members expect. These leaders must also build governance institutions that coordinate expectations about their objectives and the behavior of members.

In the Interest of Others reveals how activist labor unions expand the community of fate and provoke preferences that transcend the private interests of individual members. Ahlquist and Levi then extend this logic to other membership organizations, including religious groups, political parties, and the state itself.

  

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Contents

Beyond Economism
1
Building an Encompassing Community of Fate and Winning Consent
22
Pork Perks and Predation
53
An Injury to Anyone Is an Injury to All
79
Managing Heterogeneity
120
Provoking Preferences
155
Political Attitudes and Behavior among ILWU Members
185
Signaling Solidarity?
230
Conclusions and Implications
261
Bibliography
279
Index
303
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

John S. Ahlquist is the Lyons Family Faculty Scholar and associate professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Margaret Levi is the Jere L. Bacharach Professor of International Studies at the University of Washington and Foundational Chair in Politics at the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre.

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