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.

 

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Social Movements and Elections, Uncategorized

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Social Movements and Elections, Uncategorized

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

By Paul Burstein

pb1pb2

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

Leave a comment

Filed under 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 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

2 Comments

Filed under Social Movements and Elections, Uncategorized

Pressuring Parties: How European Social Movements Use Elections to Influence Parties

By Steffen Blings

During electoral campaigns the focus both in the media and social science is on voters, political parties, and the candidates they run. Candidates appear in the media, horse race polls dominate the headlines, and ads and campaigns messages saturate the airwaves. Other actors, like social movements, only receive attention when they are directly linked to political parties. For instance in the context of the recent string of electoral successes of Germany’s right-wing populist Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), the party’ links to anti-Muslim movement activity have received both media and scientific attention. Yet in the same state election that gave the AfD one of its biggest electoral victories, far-right activists were by no means the only relevant movement actors. A group of seven organizations originating in social movement activity concerned about information-related issues, like the state of copyright law and the protection of privacy, founded the “Coalition Free Knowledge” (Koalition Freies Wissen). This coalition sent surveys to the parties competing in the state election to elicit the parties’ positions on issues like free software and access to the digital space and evaluated the parties’ answers. In their evaluation, which was distributed to the media, the organizations come to clear conclusions, calling the positions of Social, as well as Christian Democrats unsatisfactory and highlighting the Greens as the party with the most progressive position regarding changes in increasingly digital societies. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Social Movements and Elections, Uncategorized

Whither the Student Movement? Reform and Demobilization in Chile

By Rodolfo Disi Pavlic

What can movements expect from engaging in electoral politics? The relationship between the current government of President Michelle Bachelet and the Chilean college student movement suggests that supporting a candidate and her platform can come at a price. The reforms advanced by Bachelet have left students dissatisfied, and the movement itself has lost leverage. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Social Movements and Elections, Uncategorized