While many outstanding articles have been published in the journal Mobilization, one article stands out to me personally as having been exceptionally influential on my own work: “Coalitions and Political Context: U.S. Movements Against Wars in Iraq”, October 2005, by David S. Meyer and Catherine Corrigall-Brown.
Author Archives: Mobilizing Ideas
BY Jeff Goodwin
I’d like to take this occasion to celebrate one of the most interesting and, it turns out, unusual articles published in Mobilization over the past quarter century. It is not, alas, one of the more highly cited articles published in Mobilization. But I think that says more about us readers of Mobilization than about the article. And what it says about us is not very flattering.
It is an honor to be asked to reflect on Celebrating 25 Years of Mobilization. As a scholar of gender and social movements in the Middle East, I appreciate that Mobilization is not only one of the top journals for publishing in this field but that its goal “…is to provide a forum for global, scholarly dialogue”. In particular, Mobilization has been instrumental in bringing scholarship on social movements and uprisings in the Middle East to the attention of the global social science community. I am grateful to Mobilization for not only publishing our co-authored article on anti-harassment activism in Egypt (Rizzo, Price, and Meyer 2012) but for adding our article to the 2012 special issue on “Understanding The Middle East Uprisings” with Charles Kurzman as guest editor. Mobilization was one of the first to have a special issue focusing on the uprisings in the Middle East. It included several articles on Egypt looking at the interplay of structure and agency through the Tahrir protests (Holmes 2012), the Ultra soccer fans (Dorsey 2012), and our article on the anti-sexual harassment campaign (Rizzo et al. 2012) as well as an article on the onset of Syria’s popular uprising (Leenders 2012) and Iran’s 2009 Green Movement (Harris 2012).
This year, the journal Mobilization is turning 25. The first issue of Mobilization was published in 1996 at a time when social movement researchers had a lot of great ideas, but limited options for publishing cutting edge research papers in a journal that directly targeted the growing community of social movement scholars. Mobilization is unusual, too, in that it was founded and is still owned and operated by a leading social movement scholar, Hank Johnston (currently at San Diego State University)—rather than some large publishing corporation. It is currently edited by Neal Caren and Marco Giugni and Maria Grasso serve as the European editors.
This month, we have ten outstanding contributors. Many thanks for their contributions on this topic:
- María Inclán, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) (essay).
- Suzanne Staggenborg, University of Pittsburgh (essay).
- Sarah Gaby, Washington University in St. Louis (essay).
- Fabio Rojas, Indiana University (essay).
- Greg Prieto, University of San Diego (video).
- Chandra Russo, Colgate University (essay).
- Jeff Goodwin, New York University (essay).
- Helen Mary Rizzo, American University in Cairo (essay).
- Michael T. Heaney, University of Glasgow and University of Michigan (essay).
- Francesca Polletta, University of California Irvine (essay).
We also have some other contributors on this topic, please check Vol.I last month.
Editors in Chief,
Rory McVeigh, David Ortiz, Guillermo Trejo, and Grace Yukich
Mobilization has been integral to my scholarly trajectory. It provided my first engagement with the peer review process and has helped me to chart the development of social movement studies over the past 25 years. What I find most valuable about Mobilization are the many rich moments in the journal’s life in which different thinkers have taken stock and invited us to do the same, helping to identify what our field does well and how we can do better. Mobilization’s status as a pre-eminent archive of social movement scholarship is even more admirable for being an independent endeavor. (Apologies, Hank, that it took two years to get my own institution’s library to finally subscribe!!)
BY Sarah Gaby
When I was asked to write about an article from Mobilization that impacted my career, I struggled. It seemed hard to pick just one influential piece, especially since the biggest influence of the journal on my career cannot be summed up by a single article. I started reading articles from Mobilization my first year of graduate school. At the time, I was unsure how I would frame my interest in youth civic and political participation and whether and how social movements would play a role. My early reading of highly cited articles by well-known scholars like Sarah Soule, Doug McAdam, and Jackie Smith initiated my deep commitment to studying and understanding social movements. And, while useful for various reasons, it was not my reading of the journal that I found most impactful, but rather the goal I set for myself to publish in Mobilization, which was both motivating and helped guide my studies.
In the 25 years since Mobilization was launched, it has published essential reading for scholars of social movements and collective action. The journal is an outlet for important empirical and theoretical papers in the field and its editors have also organized thought-provoking forums for discussion of critical issues and works. When asked to write about a Mobilization article that has influenced my own scholarship and/or the field more generally, I had no trouble coming up with various candidates. But the article and forum that came to mind as one to which I have frequently returned over the years is Mayer Zald’s “Ideologically Structured Action: An Enlarged Agenda for Social Movement Research” published in the Spring 2000 issue and followed by a forum with comments by Mario Diani and Bert Klandermans and a response by Zald. Judging by the large number of citations garnered by the article, other scholars have also found it stimulating.
BY Fabio Rojas
I started graduate school in sociology in 1997. At the time, we already had one solid generation of outstanding scholarship. The “first wave,” which might be said to have occurred from about 1960 to 1990, laid out the basic ideas of social movement research. David Snow and Robert D. Benford developed the social psychology of movements. Mayer Zald and John McCartyhy gave us the resource mobilization perspective. Theda Skocpol produced the now famous “dual” model of social revolutions, while scholars like Aldon Morris provided crucial historical and tactical analyses of social movements.
Mobilization: Mobilizing Innovative Work, Researchers, and Publishing Venues of Contentious Activity
BY María Inclán
This year Mobilization turns 25 and we, scholars, students, and social movement activists, are celebrating counting on a publishing venue specialized on studying the mobilizing aspect of contentious politics through innovative theoretical approaches and empirical methodologies. Hence, it is a great honor for me to be invited to reflect on the importance of the journal for the discipline as well as my own scholarship. Besides the obvious benefits that the journal provides us, such like cutting-edge research focused exclusively on social movements, protest, and collective action, from the beginning Mobilization has been a journal that opens the publishing door to incoming social movement students, as well as to scholars and research outside of the developed and democratically stable world. I believe this is mostly due to the fact that the journal was founded and is still owned and operated by Hank Johnston, who has dedicated his role as a leading social movement scholar to bringing in and opening opportunities to researchers from the Global South. From the first issue forward, one can find at one article by a scholar or region of research outside of the industrial north. In the first number was Helena Flam’s article on Poland’s KOR, in the second issue were Manisha Desai’s and T. Oommen’s respective articles on women and civil society mobilization in India, in the third was Arild Schou’s article on the Palestinian Intifada in the third issue, and so on. In my particular case, publishing at Mobilization my third research article back in 2009, not only helped me to build my academic confidence, but also made it the most fully and partially reprinted, and translated article I have ever produced. Hence, publishing at Mobilization became a great opportunity for me to circulate my work.