Social Movement Failure

This month’s essay dialogue will focus on why some movements fail. With many questioning the success of movements like Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring, we think it is time to revisit one of the questions that has plagued the social movement community for a long time. Every activist and community organizer has examples of success and failure, but social movement researchers and activists are far more likely to focus on movements that succeed. Contributors this month and next will reflect on what movement failure is and why some movements fail. What are the key reasons that some movements never take off or fizzle out before succeeding? What are we missing if we ignore social movement failures? How should we understand failure, what is the role of intentional and unintentional outcomes, and how do we measure failed movements? We have lined up a fantastic group of scholars and organizers to reflect on these issues and will feature their essays throughout December and January and invite you to comment and respond. As always, we are grateful for the participation of our distinguished contributors:

Edwin Amenta, University of California, Irvine (essay)
Christian Davenport, University of Michigan (essay)
Daniel Escher, University of Notre Dame (essay)
Marco Giugni, University of Geneva (essay)
Kevan Harris, Princeton University (essay)
Jen McKernan, AFT Michigan (essay)

1 Comment

Filed under Essay Dialogues, Social Movement Failure

One response to “Social Movement Failure

  1. Pingback: Why Social Movements Fail | rationalinsurgent

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