Category Archives: Essay Dialogues

“ ‘Walk Together Children!’ The Charismatic Leadership and Race-Conscious Politics of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.”

This month, we’ve celebrated the birth and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who has become the face of African American civil rights in the United States and human rights worldwide. While there is much of King’s legacy that remains under appreciated, particularly his post-1963 “I Have a Dream” speech critiques of capitalism and worker’s rights protests, there is also room to explore the influence of lesser-known Civil Rights advocates and activists. Continue reading

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Informing Activists: How can I protect myself legally when I am active online?

Derek Bambauer

How can I protect myself legally when I am active online?

Professor Bambauer mentions several resources that you can use to protect yourself online. We have compiled links to these sources below.

The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation)’s Surveillance Self-Defense offers overviews, tutorials, and briefings for how to keep your identity and your information safe online.

Fire (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education)

The Tor software protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location, and it lets you access sites which are blocked.

The Tails system is a live operating system that you can start on almost any computer from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card. It aims at preserving your privacy and anonymity, and helps you to: use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship; all connections to the Internet are forced to go through the Tor network; leave no trace on the computer you are using unless you ask it explicitly; use state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt your files, emails and instant messaging.

 

Further Reading

Classic:

Marx, Gary T. 1988. Undercover: police surveillance in America. Berkeley, CA: Univ of California Press,

Review:

Lyon D. 2007. Surveillance Studies: An Overview. Malden, MA: Polity

Contemporary:

Rafail, Patrick. 2014. “What Makes Protest Dangerous? Ideology, Contentious Tactics, and Covert Surveillance.” Intersectionality and Social Change. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. 235-263.

 

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Filed under Digital Media in Activism, Informing Activists, Uncategorized

Informing Activists: How do movements influence elections?

Fabio Rojas

How do movements influence elections?

Recommended Readings

CLASSIC:

Meyer, David S., and Sidney G. Tarrow. 1998. The social movement society: Contentious politics for a new century. Rowman & Littlefield,

CONTEMPORARY:

Heaney, Michael, and Fabio Rojas. 2011. “The partisan dynamics of contention: demobilization of the antiwar movement in the United States, 2007-2009.” Mobilization: An International Quarterly 16, no. 1: 45-64.

REVIEW:

Schwartz, Mildred A. 2010. “Interactions between social movements and US political parties.” Party Politics 16(5):587-607.

 

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Filed under Essay Dialogues, Informing Activists, Social Movements and Elections, Uncategorized

Social Movements and Elections

Although social movements may engage in extra-institutional politics, their activities often overlap substantially with electoral politics. For the second month, Mobilizing Ideas invites contributors to look at how political campaigns strategically use and interact with social movements. Current examples would be how the political campaigns in the US have related to Black Lives Matter or Occupy. We ask our contributors to consider how political actors use movements to advance their own goals, with or without the consent of those movements. Contributors also consider how movements respond to these efforts.

Many thanks to our fantastic group of contributors.

Catherine Kane, University of Maryland-College Park (essay)
Paul Burstein,University of Washington-Seattle (essay)

Editors in Chief,
Grace Yukich, David Ortiz, Rory McVeigh, Guillermo Trejo

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Party or Movement? American Minor Parties and Political Campaigns

By Catherine Kane

K.B.: “What is the value of parties?”

Dr. Stein: “Those of us who do not have [wealthy backers], and that is most American people…we need to work together, and we need to build. Parties are how we work together across multiple issues, across time, and build from election to election. That is the only way we are going to change things.”

2012 Independent Political Report Interview of Green Party Presidential Nominee Jill Stein.

Conversations about American political campaigns focus on the major parties, their candidates, and increasingly on the social movements that ally with or protest them. Discussions of social movements in electoral politics highlight the dichotomy between these two forms of organization. Political parties compete in the election while movements take action through alignment with parties (e.g. endorsements, issue advocacy, mobilization), protest against parties (e.g. contesting platforms, disrupting events, or raising awareness of alternatives), or some combination of the two. Meanwhile, minor parties and their candidates enter the debate, only figuratively, through discussions of their capacity to spoil the election or to expand the representativeness of the American party system. This addresses only the electoral behavior of minor parties during political campaigns. In reality, minor parties take on the behaviors of both party and social movement organizations (SMOs). They run for office while also aligning with and protesting major party actions. Minor parties in America present an interesting form of movement and party interaction through their incorporation of both into one hybrid organization form. Continue reading

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Political Parties, Social Movements, and Presidential Elections, 1896 and 2012

By Paul Burstein

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Presidential election results, 1896 and 2012 (source: http://www.270towin.com)

Anyone who looks at maps portraying presidential voting by state for 1896 and 2012 can easily reach two conclusions. First, American politics is amazingly static. The country remained divided into the same two blocs of states: the South and much of the North Central Midwest and Mountain states on one side, and on the other side New England, the Middle Atlantic and midwestern industrial states, and the west coast. Continue reading

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Social Movements and Elections

Although social movements may engage in extra-institutional politics, their activities often overlap substantially with electoral politics. For September and October, Mobilizing Ideas invites contributors to look at how political campaigns strategically use and interact with social movements. Current examples would be how the political campaigns in the US have related to Black Lives Matter or Occupy. We ask our contributors to consider how political actors use movements to advance their own goals, with or without the consent of those movements. Contributors also consider how movements respond to these efforts.

Many thanks to our fantastic group of contributors.

Steffen Blings, Cornell University (essay)
Michael T. Heaney, University of Michigan (essay)
Rodolfo Disi Pavlic, University of Texas at Austin (essay)
Deana Rohlinger, Florida State University (essay)
Fabio Rojas, Indiana University (essay)

Editors in Chief,
Grace Yukich, David Ortiz, Rory McVeigh, Guillermo Trejo

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Filed under Social Movements and Elections, Uncategorized