Social Movement Dynamics


’This new collection blends traditions of research on social movements and contentious politics from various regions with Latin American perspectives in the Latin American context. Drawing heavily on the political process, resource mobilization, and transnational politics traditions, the authors advance our knowledge of Latin American contention in three areas: transcending the boundaries between contentious and routine politics; embedding social movements in the context of economic, political, and environmental change; and examining the new organizational repertoires that have emerged in Latin America since democratization.’

Sidney Tarrow, Cornell University

’Latin America has seen innumerable instances of political contention over centuries. However, mainstream social movement analysts from the political process school have paid fairly scant attention to that continent. This book fills this gap admirably. Far from imposing Western analytic categories over a different setting, the authors develop a fruitful dialogue between different theoretical currents. This book will appeal to both social movement analysts who do not specialize in Latin America and area experts from other intellectual perspectives. Highly recommended.’

Mario Diani, University of Trento, Italy


‘The volume from Rossi and von Bülow addresses a recurrent and challenging issue in this sociological field: how relevant and useful are sociological concepts and theoretical frames mainly elaborated in the 1980s in reference to the United States and Western European contexts, to analyze changing, ‘Southern’ (in the broadly accepted sense) social movements? How can Southern scholarship or Southern-based case studies contribute to the renewal of the study of contentious action?’

Jeanne Hersant, International Sociology

‘Social Movement Dynamics offers a rich contribution to the dynamic understanding of political processes. To the study of the internal dynamics of mobilizations, the volume offers an analysis of the process of coalescence and disturbance of collective understandings and collective action (Mische) and a typology of movement strategies that captures not only contentious but also non-contentious actions (Rossi). It shows how external dynamics can be studied in multiple ways. Non-contentious relations with the state can take center stage (Abers and Tatagiba; Rossi; Spalding). Grievances must be given historical particularity, for example, focusing on the state and developing a typology of threats (Almeida). Transnational coalitions vary depending on the configuration of opportunities at the domestic and at the international level (Spalding). Broker organizations take particular shapes in the context of organizational ecologies (Gurza Lavalle and von Bülow). Finally, the volume recognizes the importance of temporality (Spalding; Tavera Fenollosa) and of unintended outcomes (Tavera Fenollosa).’

Ana Velitchkova, Mobilizing Ideas

‘This volume powerfully challenges the oftentimes unsubstantiated assumption that social movements are at least potentially pure and righteous, while the state, political parties, NGOs, and even unions are contaminated and contagious, bent on moderating, if not extinguishing, the liberating impulses of movements. The relationships between the environments in which social movement activities take place and the intended and unintended changes that result from these pressures from below are explored. So too are changes in social movement networks and organizational ecologies within and across national boundaries. Theoretical narratives address relevant intellectual history and probe important debates before proposing new concepts and questions.’

Paul Haber, Mobilization: An International Quarterly

‘This collection represents a very welcome attempt to take stock and impose some disciplinary order on the fertile, but otherwise entangled, jungle of approaches that characterise the academic landscape of social movement studies, while introducing new themes that have gained momentum in this area in recent years.’

Gavin O’Toole, The Latin American Review of Books

‘Sua principal contribuição, conforme anunciam os organizadores da coletânea, Federico M. Rossi e Marisa von Bülow, consiste em resgatar e elaborar os instrumentos analíticos capazes de analisar os movimentos sociais em tipos concretos de entornos socioeconômicos e políticos e em interações com o Estado, suas instituições e outros atores. Em síntese e também de acordo com a formulação dos organizadores, as análises têm um enfoque relacional, termo de inspiração neoinstitucionalista.’

Monika Dowbor, Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais

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