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Doug McAdam reasons out in a very sequential way that is easy to understand.

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The models are discussed in a chronological way starting from the classical model, then the RM model and the political process model. McAdam writes the book in such a way that one idea leads to the next and concepts in the first idea are appreciated to give more advanced concepts in the following discussion or chapter. For instance, starting with the classic model, the pluralist theory defines the basis of discussion, which becomes the primary base even in the other two models.

The reader is able to argue out the concepts being discussed by first having a good understanding of the pluralist concept I the first chapter. The second chapter happens because of chapter one and it is the issues of the second chapter that give rise to the third chapter. That is, the second chapter discusses the RM model, which is said to be an alternative of the first model found in chapter 1, the classical model. Similarly, the political process model in chapter three is an upgrade of a combination of chapter one and two. The author answers the questions effectively on that none of the concepts of any of the models is left out.

He judges the theories in the models using very understandable arguments and leaves the reader in a very convinced state.

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He moves from theoretical concerns to an empirical analysis in a very clear way. He shows us how the civil rights movement has been shaped by the heightened sense of political efficacy, development of the three institutions i. The author, however has left out a number of issues in his empirical analysis.

First, he is biased when discussing some of the models. Though it is said that the RM model is an alternative for the classical model and the political process model is an alternative for the RM model, it should not go by default that his preceding models are weak. The height of this bias is seen in the discussion of the classical model. The author is very keen on discussing the weaknesses of the body by he cannot highlight its benefits. In conclusion, I like the book.

Despite the author having been biased and showing some faulty features in his discussion, his positive side of his work has outdone these flaws. The author leaves the reader completely informed by following a sequential way of stating his empirical analysis. He is also very clear in showing the reader the theoretical work from which the empirical analysis come. He served as the director of the prestigious Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences between and He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This list is incomplete ; you can help by expanding it. Civil rights movement s and s. Brown v. Board of Education Bolling v. Sharpe Briggs v.

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Elliott Davis v. Belton White America, Inc. Sarah Keys v. Lightfoot Boynton v.


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Virginia Rock Hill sit-ins Robert F. It is not so much that calculating outsiders are compelled to affiliate with a movement as a result of the provision of individual selective incentives. Instead, some number of embedded insiders are threatened with the loss of meaning and membership for failure to adopt the new ideational and behavioral requirements of the collective. The Movement-Centric Nature of the Perspective. Another lacuna I see associated with the current consensus and movement theory in general is a certain myopia in its general frame of reference.

The dominant account of emergence is decidedly movement-centric in its sketch of causal factors. Let me be clear. I regard the social settings within which initial mobilization takes place as key sites for analysis, but not the only sites. If it takes two to tango it takes at least two to contend. That is, contentious politics always involves the mobilization of at least two groups of actors. We should be equally concerned with the processes and settings within which both sets of actors mobilize and especially interested in the unfolding patterns of interaction between the various parties to contention.

From this point of view, it is ironic that a perspective—political process—that sought to theorize the intersection of institutionalized and non-institutionalized politics should have come, in its consensual embodiment, to focus almost exclusively on processes internal to movements. In this Introduction I want to return to the interactionist premises that informed the earliest writings in the tradition.


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The Multi-Level Nature of Political Opportunities and the Neglect of the International In the quarter-century since Peter Eisinger first used the term, the concept of political opportunity has come to be almost universally equated with the rules, institutional structures, and elite alliances characteristic of national political systems. Since Eisinger himself used the concept to compare municipal political systems, this equation of POS with nation-state is ironic to say the least.

The point is, the concept is inherently multi-level. Any system of institutional power can be simultaneously analyzed as a political opportunity structure.

This point applies to non-state systems—institutional governance in a firm, for instance—no less than state. Here, however, I will confine myself to the multi-level institutional structuring of state power. Even here, though, things are plenty complicated enough. Throughout history, most polities have been embedded in a complex web of governing jurisdictions te Brake, ; Tarrow, Even the modern nation-state tends to nest power at more than one level.

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The practical implications of this kind of multi-level system for the emergence of contention has generally escaped the attention of movement researchers. Once again, the tendency has been to conceptualize facilitative expansions in political opportunities as processes that unfold domestically.

Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency, 1930 1970, 2nd Edition

So changes in access rules, or shifts in political alignments have generally been explained by reference to developments at the national level. But as students of comparative revolution Goldstone, ; Skocpol, have long appreciated, states can be rendered vulnerable by changes that emanate at many different levels.

In the kind of composite polities profiled by te Brake and Tarrow , significant changes or crises at any level of the system can set in motion contention and change at any other level. Following the lead of Skocpol, Goldstone and others, I have in mind the international and specifically the pressures for change that devolve from perturbations in transnational political alliances and economic relations. Any synthetic understanding of the origins of non-routine politics will need to reflect this expanded understanding of the geographic and institutional locus of political opportunities.

Static Perspective Versus Dynamic Model. The final criticism of the prevailing model of movement emergence is a very general one. Indeed, it is little more than a static listing of general factors presumed to be important in the development of collective action. But how these factors combine to trigger initial mobilization and by what intervening mechanisms is less clearly specified in the movement literature. I am, therefore, motivated to replace this static listing of factors with a sketch of a set of highly contingent, dynamic relationships which are apt to shape the likelihood of movement emergence.

This sketch is given in figure 1. The figure depicts movement emergence as a highly contingent outcome of an ongoing process of interaction involving at least one set of state actors and one challenger. The framework can be readily adapted to analyzing the emergence of contention in any system of institutionalized power e. The generic model only requires that the analyst be able to identify at least one member and one challenger whose ongoing interaction sets in motion a broader episode of contention.

Following Gamson , members are collective actors whose interests are routinely taken into account in decision-making processes within the setting in question. Challengers are collective actors who lack the basic prerogative of members—routine access to decisions that affect them Gamson, But while this fundamental distinction can be applied to many settings, here I will restrict myself to episodes of contention that develop out of sustained interaction between a special kind of member —that is, state actors—and at least one challenger.

Instances of non-routine contention that do not conform to this framework, lie outside the scope of the inquiry. Figure 1. One of the virtues of the perspective sketched here is that it is as amenable to the analysis of routine as to that of contentious politics.

Political process and the development of Black insurgency, 1930-1970

Too often analysts have reified the distinction between routine politics and social movements, revolutions and the like, and have wound up proposing separate theories to account for the two phenomena. Since I see the latter as almost always growing out of and often transforming the former, I am motivated to propose a framework that is equally adept at explaining both. That is the case with the perspective sketched in figure 1. Routine politics depends on the same general processes of interpretation, attribution, and appropriation as contentious politics; only the outcome of these processes differs in the two cases.

Innovative collective action requires not only that such an attribution be made, but furthermore that it then be adopted as the guiding frame for action by an existing collectivity. The figure identifies five processes that shape this unfolding dynamic. The remainder of this section is given over to a discussion of these five processes as I see them manifested in the U.

The aim is to revisit a case familiar to social movement analysts in order to see how our understanding of the movement is altered by viewing it through a more dynamic, process-oriented analytic framework. This approach would appear to substitute a deductive approach to case analysis for the inductive program sketched at the beginning of the Introduction. In point of fact, neither approach captures the inherently reciprocal interplay between theory and evidence that has guided this exercise in theoretical reflection.

That is, recent contributions to the historiography of the civil rights movement have prompted me to rethink aspects of my original theoretical formulation, just as contemporary theoretical debates have altered my reading of the case. But for heuristic purposes and to insure consistency with the original book, I will adhere to the same narrative conventions as I did then.

That is, I will use the lens of general theory —in this case figure 1—to structure my retelling of the case. Exogenous Change Processes. A host of specific literatures have made note of the important role of broad change processes in destabilizing previously stable social and political relations, thereby helping to set in motion episodes of contention. Like Goldstone, scholars in the ethnic competition tradition Lieberson, ; Olzak, have often pinpointed a mix of demographic and economic change processes as the backdrop against which episodes of ethnic conflict and violence have taken place.

Finally, social movement theory has privileged one kind of change process—expanding political opportunities—over all others as the proximate cause of initial mobilization. What kind of change processes? The point is that any event or broad social process that serves to undermine the calculations and assumptions on which the political establishment is structured occasions a shift in political opportunities.

Among the events and processes likely to prove disruptive of the political status quo are wars, industrialization, international political alignments, prolonged [economic woes], and widespread demographic changes McAdam, The above list includes most, if not all, of the broad change processes highlighted by work on comparative revolutions, ethnic conflict, and, to a lesser extent, democratization. The list also accords well with the specific mix of change processes that served to alter the interpretive context shaping action by all parties to the civil rights struggle.