How Social Movements Die – the Blog Entry (Book on the way)

Mobilizing Ideas

By Christian Davenport

davenport_photo1Many researchers, activists and ordinary citizens are trying to figure out what is meant by social movement “success” and in so doing social movement “failure.” We are somewhat confused about these concepts because most of our collective attention has been spent on trying to understand social movement emergence (i.e., when we are most likely to see them) and the use of diverse tactics (e.g., when we are more likely to see violent vs. non-violent behavior). Scholarship has only recently moved to define, conceptualize, and measure success and research has barely started on the idea of failure, which is the focus of my essay today. This renders the discussion put together in this forum both timely and useful.

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