How much does the political environment affect my cause?
Kitschelt, Herbert P. 1986. “Political Opportunity Structures and Political Protest: Anti-Nuclear Movements in Four Democracies.” British Journal of Political Science 16(1):57-85.
Meyer, David S. and Debra C. Minkoff. 2004. “Conceptualizing Political Opportunity.” Social Forces 82(4):1457-92.
Chan, Kin-man and Yan Zhou. 2014. “Political Opportunity and the Anti-Dam Movement in China: A Case Study of Nu River.” Pp. 311-30 in Social Issues in China, Vol. 1, International Perspectives on Social Policy, Administration, and Practice, edited by Z. Hao and S. Chen: Springer New York.
We would like to thank the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for their support of the Youth Activism Project through the Youth and Participatory Politics Research Network.
Political sociologists and social movement scholars have often commented on the overly broad definition of “political opportunities.” Many have called for specifying the nature of political opportunities especially so as to better operationalize and link political opportunities to policy outcomes and social movement mobilization. Indeed, political opportunity structure has referred to the more static nature of a country’s institutional arrangements (for instance, type of political system, electoral representation, etc.), to the more dynamic kind focusing on the presence of sympathetic party elites, party control of government and agenda setting. Continue reading
International Studies Quarterly just published Yagil Levy‘s most recent work on the reshaping of military conflict due to democracy, technology, and now protest. I have posted elsewhere about his work on casualty aversion due to the intersection of democracy and technology (and also on related work by Jonathan Caverley). This piece, titled “How Military Recruitment Affects Collective Action and its Outcomes” [gated] explores the impact of military recruitment on a public’s willingness to “absorb” casualties among its soldiers during military conflict. In other words, Levy wants to know the extent to which recruitment impacts the collective action opportunities of those who would (de)mobilize public opinion in democracies regarding casualties, and thereby support for the war. Continue reading
In a Dec 27th post (“Has the abortion issue been reopened in Canada and what does this mean for social movements?”), I wrote about a push on the part of some Canadian conservatives to reopen the issue of abortion – an issue that has otherwise lain fairly dormant. I suggested that with a Conservative majority government, a new political opportunity has opened for Conservative issues in Canada. Not surprisingly, Lawrence Martin titled his Dec 27th Globe and Mail article “A banner year for the new conservative agenda” where he writes, “For core conservatives, those of the doctrinaire variety, nothing can compare to the success of the year now passing. In 2011, Canada took its sharpest turn right in its history.” Continue reading