Power in Movement: Social Movements and Contentious Politics / Edition 3

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Social movements have an elusive power but one that is altogether real. From the French and American revolutions to the post-Soviet, ethnic, and terrorist movements of today, contentious politics exercises a fleeting but powerful influence on politics, society, and international relations. This study surveys the modern history of the modern social movements in the West and their diffusion to the global South through war, colonialism, and diffusion, and it puts forward a theory to explain its cyclical surges and declines. It offers an interpretation of the power of movements that emphasizes effects on the lives of militants, policy reforms, political institutions, and cultural change. The book focuses on the rise and fall of social movements as part of contentious politics in general and as the outcome of changes in political opportunities and constraints, state strategy, the new media of communication, and transnational diffusion.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In Power in Movement, Sidney Tarrow shows how power moves through structure, contention, meaning and emotion in collective endeavor. Bringing together theoretical perspectives, evidence and cases from comparative politics and international relations, sociological research, and his history of social movements scholarship, Tarrow surveys and analyzes the development of the social movement, its relationship to the state and the political economy, its interactions with allies and opponents, and its national and transnational capacities and weaknesses. A pleasure to read, Power in Movement is a powerful and definitive work, a core text in any social movements or collective action course, a source of research questions and scholarly example for graduate students, and a necessary reference for sociologists, political scientists, and any scholar interested in and concerned with how power moves."
-Karen Beckwith, Case Western Reserve University

"Power in Movement is an important and highly readable book, which should be read and digested by sociologists, political scientists, and historians interested in fully understanding the various facets of social movements and contentious politics. This magnificent book integrates (and extends) the major theoretical perspectives on movements and politics and this new edition does a superb job of covering the major advances in the field since the last edition."
-Sarah Soule, Stanford University

"Power in Movement is a masterful synthesis and analysis of social movements and contentious politics. It is must reading for students and other scholars seeking a sophisticated survey of empirical work and an understanding of theoretical issues in the field. In this third edition, Tarrow provides a valuable update of post-9/11 developments and new work on transnational movements, and he employs the influential relational approach to mechanisms and processes of contention that he has developed in collaboration with Doug McAdam and Charles Tilly."
-Suzanne Staggenborg, University of Pittsburgh

"The new, thoroughly revised and up-to-date edition of Tarrow's classic offers a magisterial synthesis of the wide-ranging literature on social movements, examined in the broader context of political contention. In its historical depth, global scope, and balanced attention to the opportunities for and limitations of social movement activities, this book constitutes a unique contribution and a must-read for scholars of Comparative Politics."
-Kurt Weyland, University of Texas at Austin

Studies in Comparative
This is unquestionably a seminal work, one that lies fundamentally in the literature on social movements. . .an exceptionally rich synthesis and weaving together of research and literature on social movements. — Studies in Comparative International Development
American Political Scientist
The brilliance of this book is the author's ability to transcend conventional schools of socialmovement analysis. . . .It is difficult to see movements int he same light after reading this book.— American Political Science Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521155724
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/4/2011
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 746,518
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Sidney Tarrow (Ph.D. Berkeley, 1965) is Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Government and Professor of Sociology at Cornell University. His recent books are Dynamics of Contention (with Doug McAdam and Charles Tilly), Contentious Europeans (with Doug Imig), Transnational Protest and Global Activism (co-edited with Donatella della Porta), The New Transnational Activism and Contentious Politics (with Charles Tilly). He is currently researching war, state-building and human rights.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Contentious politics and social movements; Part I. Contentious Politics: 3. Modular collective action; 4. Print and association; 5. States, capitalism, and contention; Part II. Powers in Movement: 6. Acting contentiously; 7. Networks and organizations; 8. Making meanings; 9. Threats, opportunities, and regimes; Part III. Dynamics of Contention: 10. Mechanisms and processes of contention; 11. Cycles of contention; 12. Struggling to reform; 13. Transnational contention; 14. Conclusion: the future of social movements.

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