Scholars have long debated the role of social movements in changing policy outcomes – whether and how do they matter. Policies can also create political opportunities for social movements. Policies empower historically disadvantaged groups and provide them with the tools and resources to mobilize their rights. Indeed, as David Meyer put it, scholars often grapple with the “chicken-and-egg” problem of policy and mobilization; that is, which comes first? Thinking about this alleged paradox raises questions about the role of social movements following legislative “victories.”
Tag Archives: policy
I am interested in the epistemic modernization of the relations among the scientific, industrial, political, and civil society fields.
For centuries scientists have had to defend the precarious autonomy of their concepts, methods, and research agendas from attempts by governments, religions, and industries to influence them. Of course, extra-field influence can be generative. For example, the needs of the military and industry have helped to spur the development of whole research fields, from thermodynamics to chemistry. However, the funding priorities of the patrons of science also shape the contours of dominant and subordinate research programs in many research fields, and the resulting dominant research programs are not always aligned with a broad public interest. Continue reading
Since at least the 1970s, the intersections of science, technology and social movements have proliferated across the political sphere. Highly diverse in form and substance, these lines of connection are transforming the way societies make knowledge and press for social change. David Hess has described this general process in broad social-historical terms, arguing that society has entered an era of “epistemic modernization,” which is characterized by two dominant, counter-veiling trends.[i] Continue reading