Social Protest and Policy Change: Ecology, Antinuclear, and Peace Movements in Comparative Perspective

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2004 - Political Science - 297 pages
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While movement activists spend much of their time and energy trying to change the world and we think that social movements often matter, our theoretical and empirical knowledge in this field is still relatively poor. Social Protest and Policy Change offers a systematic and empirically grounded analysis of the impact of three major contemporary movements on public policy. Following a comparative and historical perspective, the author argues that the policy impact of social movements is facilitated by the presence of favorable political opportunity structures, and more precisely by the presence of institutional allies among the elites, and by a favorable public opinion. Furthermore, the very content of the movements' demands also plays a role, insofar as the power holders are more willing to make concessions on certain issues than on others. On the basis of a historical overview of the mobilization of ecology, antinuclear, and peace movements in the United States, Italy, and Switzerland, and using a unique body of original data, the book presents the results of time-series analyses showing the joint effect of protest, political alliances, and shifts in public opinion for movements that do not address issues that pose too serious a threat to the power holders.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Historical Overview
17
Was It Worth the Effort? The Outcomes and Consequences of Social Movements
19
A Brief History of Ecology Antinuclear and Peace Movements in Three Countries
37
Environmental Nuclear Energy and National Security Policy in Three Countries
77
Conclusion to Part I
113
TimeSeries Analysis
117
Toward a JointEffect Model of Social Movement Outcomes
119
Public Opinion
189
Conclusion to Part II
215
Conclusion
225
Data Measurements and Methods
233
Results of TimeSeries Analysis with Differenced Independent Variables
259
References
269
Index
287
About the Author
297

Social Movement Organization
147
Political Alliances
167

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About the author (2004)

Marco Giugni is a researcher and teacher in the Department of Political Science at the University of Geneva. His books on social movements include New Social Movements in Western Europe, Histoires de mobilisation politique en Suisse, From Contention to Democracy, How Social Movements Matter, and Political Altruism'.

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