What makes an effective antiwar movement? Theme-issue introduction.
The contributions to this Special Issue of the International Journal of Peace Studies consider antiwar protests' potential to influence national-security policies. They are particularly concerned with questions of movement efficacy and with developing contingent generalizations about features of antiwar movements and features of the political environment that together determine movements' influence on state policies and, possibly, on political structures and societal values.
Important definitional considerations concern the temporal and issue dimensions of antiwar protest. Opposition to a particular war motivates some movements. These ad hoc movements seek to change government policy regarding a specific, ongoing war. While this goal may be linked to other political agendas--be they anti-militarist, feminist, anti-imperialist, pro-democracy, and so forth--these are secondary to the primary focus on bringing a particular war to an end. The time-horizon of such movements is limited and they typically dissolve or become inactive after the war ends.
A different type of antiwar activism transcends protest against specific wars. It has a more extensive temporal dimension and greater prominence of ideologically based motives and goals--such as pacifism, or liberal internationalism that seeks to institutionalize world order through the United Nations or a federation of countries. Ongoing protests by secular pacifist groups or by peace churches against armaments and militarism can have much more diffuse goals than do ad hoc antiwar movements. In addition to disarmament, these goals may include strengthening of international dispute-resolution processes, promoting international understanding, and peace education. One can designate ad hoc protests "antiwar movements" and more ideologically motivated and long-running protests "peace movements"--although these categories are not mutually exclusive and protesters against particular wars may also have transcendent ideological motives.
Open-ended, more ideologically motivated movements may have less potential, at least in the near term, to influence public opinion and change public policy. In part this reflects the more diffuse goals of ongoing peace movements: Insofar as a single-issue focus tends to correlate with greater ability to achieve movement goals (Gamson, 1990, 45-46), ad hoc antiwar groups may be more successful. Of course, the task of ending a particular war is more achievable than that of ending war generally.
Peace groups whose demands include the expansion of international law at the expense of state sovereignty are also politically radical in the sense that they challenge "present distributions of wealth and power," and advocate replacing the authority over security policy claimed by domestic elites (Ash, 1972, 230). Scholars debate how the radicalism of a movement's demands affects its prospects for success, but the goal of displacing established political authorities is highly correlated with protest-group failure (Gamson, 1990, 42). Antiwar groups that focus on ending a particular war do not generally seek to replace the authority of domestic elites. Rather, their challenge is directed toward particular policies and practices that they believe depart from the responsible exercise of officeholders' authority.
Thus, a key question that bears on questions of antiwar movements' effectiveness and influence is "What is the relative importance to movement leaders of ideological goals broader than ending a particular war?" It may also be useful to locate movement goals on a continuum from domestic to international politics, with world peace and disarmament goals located on the more international and abstract end and also implying the potentially radical displacement of domestic elites. Peace groups with broader time horizons and more abstract goals generally find it harder to achieve favorable public responses and typically remain politically marginal. Ad hoc protests with a single agenda of ending a war have greater potential to attract mainstream support and to contribute to changes in policy.
Peace and antiwar movements are not infrequently linked with movements whose primary focus is human rights or democratization. In the definition used for this analysis, however, the latter type of movement is distinguished from antiwar movements. The distinction is related to the familiar difference between negative and positive peace: "Negative peace" emphasizes the absence of war and political violence and in this sense is aligned with the single-issue focus and more immediate time horizons of ad hoc antiwar movements. "Positive peace" imbues peace with a content that may include strengthening human rights and civil society, feminism, constructive conflict resolution practices, and so on--goals extending beyond antiwar movements' focus on changing a particular security related policy.
As well as the term "antiwar," it may be worth briefly considering the concept of a "movement." Social movements are collectivities acting in an organized way, outside of institutional channels, to challenge or defend existing authority and policy (Snow, Soule, and Kriesi, 2004, 11). They can be local, national, or transnational. Since war involves national policy, politically significant antiwar movements can be expected to operate on at least the national level--in terms of both the nationwide scope of its activities and supporters, and in terms of the protest's goal being national-level policy change.
Antiwar movements differ in several respects from other social movements, with implications for their protest outcomes. Unlike most other social movements, antiwar movements challenge the state's core claim to legitimacy and the quid pro quo forming the basis of social contract: the state's provision of security to its citizens and citizens' support for the state in wartime. The fundamental claim in antiwar protest is that those who control the state have broken the social contract by asking citizens to bear the burden of an unnecessary and harmful war. Because this challenge concerns the state's legitimacy, state officials are more likely to repress antiwar protest than would be the case with other social movements. Constraints on protest are also more severe during wartime than at other times. Outcomes of antiwar movements are also more likely to be enmeshed with political competition and party politics. Governments engaged in a war are more able to curtail civil liberties.
The political system itself is generally less permeable regarding national-security issues than with other social issues. Citizen input into decisions on war and peace is limited, in ways not typically applicable to other social movements, by the norms and practices that keep national-security policy the exclusive purview of military and government executives and small circles of experts. These professionals tend to see grassroots activists as naive and unqualified to participate in policymaking in this issue area.
The distant, rather abstract nature of national security issues can also make them more difficult to mobilize the public around than is the case for protests over issues seen as closer to home (Rucht, 2000). However, in ongoing wars, activists' motivations and the affective content of protest can be very intense, due to the immediate life-and-death stakes involved.
Peace movements often include a prominent appeal to internationalism or transnational solidarity, which contravenes fundamental norms of sovereignty in international politics and nationalism in domestic politics. In some contexts peace movements can have a subtle pro-nationalist content--as with Japanese anti-nuclearism and peace movements in the former Soviet dominated countries of East Europe or in non-English portions of Britain. Local peace activism may also respond to perceived threats from U.S. imperialism, such as anti-military-base protests (Carter, 1992, 258-259). However, in many cases, the connections between war, the state, and nationalism mean that there is an inherently anti-nationalistic content to most antiwar movements. This anti-nationalist element in antiwar protest, which may be particularly strong in protests against wars with an imperialist or colonialist dimension (such as the U.S. in Vietnam and Iraq, or Israel in Lebanon), has implications for domestic audiences' perceptions of the protest's legitimacy. Particularly during times of war and when public perceptions of external threats are high, antiwar movements are likely to be perceived as unpatriotic, if not traitorous, by the mainstream public.
While other social movements, such as environmental movements, also claim to speak for the interests of society as a whole, or even for all humanity, such movements do not routinely contend with accusations of weakness, cowardice, lack of patriotism, and an interest in appeasing or assisting enemies in times of war. Other social movements do not engage "fundamental fears for national safety and identity" (Carter 1992, 262), at least not in so direct a fashion as do antiwar movements.
These qualities particular to antiwar protest constrain its ability to influence public opinion. While not everyone who is affected by security policy has the political standing to protest against it legitimately in domestic political terms, one form of legitimacy derives from military veteran status (for example, the protest group Vietnam Veterans Against the War). Visible participation or leadership from former soldiers or soldiers' family members can lend antiwar movements political legitimacy and at least partially insulate such movements from charges that they are unpatriotic, as noted by Ben Dor and Lieberfeld in this Issue with reference to Israel's Four Mothers movement.
Conditions for Antiwar Protest
Antiwar movements, and social movements generally, benefit from liberal democratic political culture. Autonomous social movements tend to emerge and flourish as part of civil society in liberal democracies. As Carter (1992, 264) notes, "Where autonomous peace groups have managed to emerge within one party states, or under military rule, their existence has been an indication of some measure of tolerance and pluralism."
The rationale for undertaking a war of self-defense when a country's home territory is invaded or attacked is nearly indisputable, and under these circumstances no antiwar movement with substantial political influence is likely to emerge. Of course, the idea of the country's home territory may be contested domestically, as with the West Bank in the Israeli context. On the other hand, when no generally obvious threat to what the public consensus considers the home territory is self-evident, the state's claims of defensively motivated war become more questionable. Within liberal democracies, ad hoc antiwar movements arise when the rationale for the state's commitment to a particular war is unclear--that is, if the war can readily be understood as a non-existential "war of choice" rather than a war of national survival (Lieberfeld, 1999). In the Vietnam war, for example, the inability of successive U.S. administrations to offer a convincing existential rationale for the war was the essential condition giving rise to domestic antiwar protest.
Lack of an obvious rationale for war does not automatically produce protest. It becomes more likely as a war's publicized costs--in human and material terms and in terms of a society's self-image--increase well beyond initial expectations and as the war becomes prolonged and appears to the public to be waged ineffectively. As a check on government power in a democratic system, antiwar movements do not so much prevent the state's recourse to war in the first place as press governments not to persist in wars that fail to meet public expectations of a timely and affordable victory. When a war goes wrong--when its costs escalate, when its immoral qualities are manifest in media reports, and when the public cannot easily perceive the war's necessity--then those who are immediately affected or otherwise motivated may protest, and their protest may shift public opinion so as to create political incentives for war termination.
How Do Antiwar Movements Matter?
Although antiwar protest is oriented toward state security policy, its immediate target is public opinion as well as opinion of political elites who can potentially change policy. Antiwar movements try to activate commitment by both ordinary citizens and elites to join and to work on behalf of movement goals.
Antiwar movements cannot change state policy directly: As do other social movements, they can influence policy through electoral competition. Antiwar movements can expect little policy responsiveness as long as a large majority of the public agrees with the policy status quo. However, they can influence policy indirectly if they can change the public's policy preferences or raise its awareness of war-related issues (Burstein, 1999, 4-5). Politically effective antiwar movements catalyze public debate over the costs and benefits to the nation of current policies. For many antiwar movements a central challenge in this regard is to separate the public's respect for the nation's military from its support for government policies, while war supporters seek to erase this distinction.
Popular pressure to change war policies becomes significant when elected representatives consider themselves at risk of losing office unless they support meaningful policy change. Politicians--whose foremost goal is to gain or retain office--will, in an electoral context, be motivated to support changes in war policy if opinion trends among their constituents offer an incentive for doing so. Generally, social movements' impact is a function of its target's dependence on the factors, such as public opinion, that the protest seeks to change (Burstein, Einwohner, and Hollander, 1995). For antiwar movements, the possibility of disrupting the state's ability to recruit soldiers is an important source of leverage. This possibility diminishes when the army is professionalized and the state does not rely on conscripting citizens. This may be sufficient explanation for the absence of effective protest in the United States against the Iraq war.
Antiwar movements also have incentives to target public opinion because their leaders have no designated, bounded constituency and cannot negotiate with the state or be formally recognized as spokespersons. Successful antiwar movements thus almost inevitably seek to change public opinion as a means of influencing institutions that, in turn, can change public policy (McAdam and Su, 2002).
If a movement's main goal is terminating an ongoing war, this implies that key policymakers will be the target of protest, usually via domestic public opinion. The question of targets bears directly on questions of protest tactics--particularly whether to use disruptive or extralegal ones. Extralegal tactics may repel potential supporters, even in political contexts that are relatively tolerant of protest (Hermann and Yuchtman-Yaar, 2000). Generally, a protest group's choice of tactics is related to its ability to gain political access without using disruption, with groups enjoying readier access to policymakers having less need for disruptive tactics (Wolfsfeld, 1988, 131).
What sorts of impact can antiwar movements have? Scholars are mainly interested in observable changes in policy. Schumaker (1975, 494-495) identifies five stages of institutional responsiveness to social-movement demands: Most basically, movements can gain access such that the movement's concerns are heard by policymakers; next, policymakers can put the contested issue on the political agenda; third, new policies can be adopted that accord with movement demands; fourth is implementation of the new policy; and fifth is the extent of the new policy's impact on conditions that gave rise to the protest group's grievances. Above and beyond such policy responsiveness, protest movements may contribute to changes in the structures of political institutions that increase their permeability for citizen inputs on national-security policy.
Evaluating Influence: Methodological Considerations
How should the influence of social movements generally, and antiwar movements in particular, be evaluated? One consideration is whether a "movement" presents a cohesive and stable object for analysis or is internally diverse. To the extent that a movement is non-monolithic, sub-groups with different goals and strategies should figure in the analysis (Giugni, 1999, xx). Related issues include how internal divisions affect movements' goals and strategies, and whether particular policy outcomes should be understood as resulting from the activism of the movement as a whole, or in part. Matters of movement heterogeneity are raised in the article in this Issue by Peace, who considers the coalitions of groups that made up the 1980s movement in the U.S. against participation in the Contra war in Nicaragua.
In light of antiwar movements' limited ability to affect policy directly, analyses of their political influence should, contend with at least two questions of causation: "How did the movement affect public opinion?" and "How did changes in public opinion affect policy change?" In answering each question, multiple causes besides movement activity should be considered since national-security policy responds to both international and domestic constraints (e.g., Giugni, 2004, 115).
Determining causality is inherently complex. As noted by McAdam, McCarthy, and Zald (1988, 727), "demonstrating the independent effect of collective action on social change is difficult" and "evidentiary requirements [are] ... generally beyond the means of most researchers." Nevertheless, causes of policy responsiveness can be indicated, if not proven, by data showing the sequencing of movement activities, public-opinion shifts, and changes in policy. Besides this type of correlation and sequencing, relevant data include evidence of policymakers' awareness of public-opinion trends on the issue and their sensitivity to these trends in terms of domestic political competition. Questions of influence can benefit from consideration of counterfactual arguments regarding what might have happened had the movement not acted. Evaluating competing explanations for policy change--for example, that change was elite initiated rather than grassroots initiated--can be useful in assessing movement influence. Comparative case studies of movement outcomes (see Giugni, 2004, 230), such as Nepstad and Vinthagen's in this Issue, can be particularly useful in identifying determinants of movement influence.
What criteria should be considered in evaluating an antiwar movement's success? For movements seeking to change state policies, the focus on observable policy impact in response to movement demands seems appropriate. Carter (1992, 267) considers that "peace campaigns have to be judged primarily in terms of their own goals of preventing war or violent conflict, and promoting effective disarmament." Few antiwar movements, however, accomplish such goals in unambiguous ways. Machsom Watch, the subject of Kaufman's contribution to this Issue, exemplifies how a limited success, in terms of minor or partial policy changes may even make broader policy change more difficult. This criterion of success or influence also raises the problem of intentionality and whether an outcome represents an unintended consequence of activism, and also the issue of activists' subjective experience--whether they think they made a difference--which may influence their subsequent activism.
While policy change, according to widely understood criteria for success, should translate into collective benefits or "new advantages" for beneficiary groups (Gamson, 1990; Giugni, 1999, xxii), it is more difficult to define the collective benefits that accrue from ending a war than it is, for example, for a labor movement that seeks benefits for workers. Defining collective benefits may be even more challenging when such benefits accrue transnationally--when, for example, a movement is protesting governmental support for one side in a civil war taking place in another country, and being fought primarily by that country's nationals, as in the U.S. anti-Contra-war campaign, the subject of the contribution by Peace.
Since antiwar movements do not represent any particular constituency, they are unlikely to satisfy Gamson's other criterion for success: i.e., acceptance or recognition of the challenging group by its antagonists "as a valid spokesman for a legitimate set of interests" (1990, 28). The best that movements can hope for in this regard is to expand democratic participation in policy processes related to national security. Movement success is also reflected in alterations of power relations between authorities and challengers (Giugni, 1999, xxiii) and changes in political structures that increase activists' access to and influence over policy processes. Gamson's criteria are discussed in the contribution by Kaufman.
Amenta and Young (1999, 31) argue that the most important kind of political impact for movements is one that allows the beneficiary group "continuing leverage over political processes." Such leverage is difficult to evaluate in the case of antiwar movements since their leverage is typically indirect, manifesting itself in policy deliberations that take public opinion into account--as Small (1988) argues was the case with the U.S. antiwar movement during Vietnam.
In evaluating social movements' influence, questions regarding policy and institutional outcomes can be complemented by questions regarding cultural, procedural, and organizational outcomes. As Nepstad and Vinthagen note, longer-term effects of antiwar movements may include upholding ideals of non-violence and "witness" in ways that provide inter-generational continuity among activists or a model for successor movements, even in the absence of observable influence at the policy level. A movement may also produce new linkages among sectors of civil society and these networks may endure even after particular groups are no longer active. The question of antiwar movements' short- and long-term influence is also discussed in Ben Dor and Lieberfeld's consideration of movement "legacies" and the extent to which the goals and responsibilities of antiwar activists may extend past their movements' dissolution.
Determinants of Antiwar Movement Influence
Despite its importance for scholars and activists, the study of social movement consequences, as opposed to the study of social movement origins, has only recently become the focus of concerted scholarly interest (Giugni, 1999, xiv-xv; see also Nepstad and Vinthagen, 2008). A debate, which is linked to the "agent-structure" problem in the social sciences (Dessler, 1989), concerns the locus of control over movement outcomes: the extent to which they derive from internal characteristics and purposive actions of a movement--such as the choice to use disruptive tactics or the choice of issue frames (Benford and Snow, 2000)--matters over which movement leaders can exercise considerable control. Other analytic perspectives emphasize features of the political environment that bear on social-movement success (Tarrow, 1998) and are beyond movement members' control.
Differences in interpretive frameworks are more matters of emphasis than mutual exclusivity. Clearly, both internal and external factors are potentially significant determinants of movement influence and their interaction is what comprehensive theories concerning movement outcomes need to account for. The case studies in this Special Issue concern themselves with the interplay between movement agency and external constraints and opportunities. As Nepstad and Vinthagen show, protest groups that adapt their organizational identity and infrastructure to changing environmental constraints are more likely to endure, while Kaufman emphasizes that a movement becomes less effective when its strategic choices do not adapt to increased environmental constraints.
Salient factors internal to antiwar movements include their framing of their goals and how moderate or radical these are perceived to be by audiences such as the media and the public. Organizationally, exclusive or inclusive membership policies may also constrain a movement's ability to influence the public, as discussed in Nepstad and Vinthagen's comparison of the Swedish and British Ploughshares movements. Gamson (1990) found that bureaucracy and centralization significantly improve prospects for movement success. This finding is supported by Nepstad and Vinthagen, who conclude that the British Ploughshares group's decision to centralize decisions regarding goals and strategy was critical to its success relative to the Swedish Ploughshares group. Ideally, movement leaders seek to balance centralized control with decentralization that can encourage initiatives and commitment by grassroots supporters. However, tensions between centralization and decentralization are continual within movements. This dynamic takes on added importance when movements are composed of coalitions of local and national groups, as discussed by Peace.
Factors in the political environment exogenous to the movement that potentially bear on movement influence include availability of institutional mechanisms or political allies that can help protesters gain access to and influence on policymakers. Access to the policy process varies considerably, depending on governmental structures and distributions of political power--among institutions and in terms of intra-elite competition and party politics. Other potentially critical environmental factors can include suppression of protest and possibilities for sympathetic or neutral coverage by national mass media. Movement influence may also be constrained by social norms and cultural factors.
The following framework offers an overview of six types of internal and external factors that bear on movement influence. The first two, a movement's collective identity and its resources, are internal factors that are subject to movement leaders' control. These factors are also influenced by how the media and public interpret the movement's identity, as well as by the availability of resources--a factor emphasized by "resource mobilization theory" (Jenkins, 1983), which considers social movements in need of external support in order to influence the vastly more powerful targets of their protests.
The next two types of factors--having to do with movements' organizational structure and strategic choices--are the most agentic. Clearly, protesters' strategic choices also respond to features of the political environment.
The fifth and sixth groups of factors are those that lie most completely beyond protesters' control. These include opportunities and constraints in the political environment that influence movements' success or failure. While the previous five groups of factors apply to social movements generally, the sixth, comprising the dynamics of the conflict environment and the perceived stakes in a war, highlights external constraints of particular relevance to antiwar movements. Figure 1 breaks down these general categories of determinants of political influence further.
Related to the above groups of factors in Figure 1 are factors that constrain movement influence. Some constraints are mainly internal to movements, some are partly internal and partly external, and some are mainly external, as outlined in Figure 2.
This overview of approaches to analyzing antiwar movements' effectiveness sets the stage for the case studies in this Special Issue of the International Journal of Peace Studies. The articles focus on antiwar movements that developed in industrialized democracies: the Swedish and British offshoots of the U.S. Ploughshares movement, the Israeli groups Machsom Watch and Four Mothers--Leaving Lebanon in Peace, and the anti-Contra-war campaign in the United States. The British Ploughshares movement, despite some members' interest in disarmament in general terms, has targeted its activities at specific policies responsible for the deployment of nuclear weapons. The anti-Contra War campaign in the 1980s was an ad hoc movement against United States sponsorship of war against the revolutionary government in Nicaragua. Israel's Machsom ("checkpoint") Watch, founded in 2001, has focused on human rights in the context of an ongoing low-level war with Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank; however, the group's larger goal is to end the occupation. The Four Mothers movement was an ad hoc protest against the war in Lebanon in the late 1990s, led by parents of Israeli combat soldiers.
The authors have, in several cases, themselves been antiwar activists and have engaged in participant observation of the movements about which they have written. Their methodologies draw on interviews with activists, analysis of movement documents, and interpretation of data bearing on public and elite responses to the protests in question. They are also social scientists and historians who avoid the pitfall of an overly celebratory stance toward the movements they study. In particular, they do not assume that these movements are politically influential, but use evidence based reasoning in order to assess questions of movement effectiveness. Nepstad and Vinthagen offer a detailed, theoretically informed comparative examination of how activists' choices affected protest outcomes in the Ploughshares case. Kaufman examines the implications for Gamson's influential typology of protest outcomes of the experience of Machsom Watch--its achievements and its eventual manipulation by the Israeli military. Peace explores the complexities of intra-coalition relations in the case of the anti-Contra-war, and shows that antiwar coalitions have inherent vulnerabilities as well as strengths that can affect outcomes. Last, Ben Dor and Lieberfeld raise questions concerning the longer-term political implications of antiwar movement outcomes and whether former activists should engage in efforts to interpret the meanings and lessons of their protests.
Amenta, Edwin and Michael P. Young. 1999. "Making an Impact: Conceptual and Methodological Implications of the Collective Goods Criterion." In Marco Giugni, Doug McAdam, and Charles Tilly, eds., How Social Movements Matter. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Ash, Roberta. 1972. Social Movements in America. Chicago: Markham.
Benford, Robert D. and David A. Snow. 2000. "Framing Processes and Social Movements: An Overview and Assessment." Annual Review of Sociology. Vol. 26, pp. 611-640.
Burstein, Paul. 1999. "Social Movements and Public Policy" In Marco Giugni, Doug McAdam, and Charles Tilly, eds., How Social Movements Matter. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Burstein, Paul, Rachel L. Einwohner, and Jocelyn A. Hollander. 1995. "The Success of Political Movements: A Bargaining Perspective." In J. Craig Jenkins and Bert Klandermans, eds., The Politics of Protest. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
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Giugni, Marco. 2004. Social Protest and Policy Change: Ecology, Antinuclear, and Peace Movements in Comparative Perspective. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Giugni, Marco. 1999. "How Social Movements Matter: Past Research, Present Problems, Future Developments." In Marco Giugni, Doug McAdam, and Charles Tilly, eds., How Social Movements Matter. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Hermann, Tamar, and Ephriam Yuchtman-Yaar. 2000. "The Latitude of Acceptance: Israelis' Attitudes toward Political Protest Before and After the Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin." In Yoram Peri, ed. The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
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Nepstad, Sharon Erickson and Stellan Vinthagen. 2008. "Strategic Changes and Cultural Adaptations: Explaining Differential Outcomes in the International Plowshares Movement." International Journal of Peace Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 15-42.
Rucht, Dieter. 2000. "Distant Issue Movements in Germany: Empirical Description and Theoretical Reflections." In John Guidry, Michael Kennedy, and Mayer Zald, eds., Globalizations and Social Movements: Culture, Power, and the Transnational Public Sphere. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
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Figure 1: Internal and External Determinants of Antiwar Movement Influence 1) Collective identity a) internal: Group cohesion and homogeneity, and motivation/commitment b) external: Group self-presentation to allies and audiences in politics and media. 2) Resources a) material support that promotes and facilitates activism b) social standing/"cultural capital" of movement leaders and visible participants c) skills in communication and administration, cultural and political knowledge. 3) Organizational structure a) centralized or decentralized decisionmaking processes b) formal/exclusive or informal/inclusive membership policies c) homogeneous or heterogeneous participants. 4) Strategic choices a) movement goals: single- or multi-issue, degree of abstraction, radicalism b) targets of protest and strategies for influencing them c) protest tactics: e.g., adoption of illegal/disruptive tactics, visible collaboration with members of a national adversary group d) media outreach e) informal alliances with members of political structures f) coalitions with like-minded protest groups g) issue framing and use of symbols that resonate with mainstream values. 5) Political opportunities and constraints a) permeability of formal political institutions, availability of political allies b) degree of protest target's dependence on public opinion for retaining or gaining power, and for normal government functioning; relative strength of government & opposition parties c) tolerance or repression by movement opponents d) opposing counter-movements e) public opinion related to the issue f) institutional mechanisms that can turn shifts in public and elite opinion into policy change: e.g., elections g) media attitudes toward the issue, characteristics of past media coverage h) media cooperation with or antagonism toward relevant policymakers. 6) Conflict environment a) perceptions of "war of choice" versus "war of national survival" b) publicized war costs versus publicized benefits c) degree that national ideology and identity are involved in the conflict. Figure 2: Constraints on Movement Influence 1) Constraints that are mainly internal, such as * Inability to establish a collective identity * Adoption of overly diffuse goals * Counterproductive tactical choices, incurring negative publicity * Lack of social capital * Lack of leadership skills * Lack of resources * Internal divisions, factionalism and power struggles * Inability to communicate effectively, lack of media skills * Non-resonant framing of issues. 2) Constraints that are part internal and part external, such as * Competition from similar protest groups for resources and attention * Inability to form well-functioning coalitions * Manipulation or cooptation of the movement by the state * Mass media unwilling to accord the movement positive or neutral coverage. 3) Constraints that are mainly external, such as * State repression * Targets of protest are insulated from pubic-opinion pressures * Political allies unavailable * Effective counter-movements.
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|Publication:||International Journal of Peace Studies|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2008|
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