9780745649597

Social Movements in Global Politics

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780745649597

  • ISBN10:

    0745649599

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-11-04
  • Publisher: Polity

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Summary

Social Movements in Global Politics is a timely new account of the unconventional, ‘extra-institutional’ activities of social movements.

In the face of impending global crises and stubborn conflicts, a conventional view of politics risks leaving us confused and fatalistic, feeling powerless because we are unaware of all that can be achieved by political means. By contrast, a variety of recent social movements, ranging from those of women, gays and lesbians and anti-racists, to environmentalists, the Occupy movement and the Arab Spring, demonstrate the enormous potential of political action beyond the institutional sphere of politics. At the same time, religious fundamentalists, racial supremacists and ultra-nationalists make clear that movements are not necessarily progressive and are often at odds with one another.

West highlights the many ways in which national and global institutions depend on a broader context of extra-institutional action or what is, in effect, the formative dimension of politics. He explores some of the major contributions of social movements: from the genealogy of liberal democratic nation-states, sixties’ radicalism and the ‘new social movements’ to the politics of sexuality, gender and identity, the politicization of nature and climate, and alter-globalization. The book also considers current theoretical approaches and sets out the basis for a critical theory of social movements. This is a fresh and original account of social movements in politics and will be essential reading for any students and scholars interested in the challenges and the unpredictable potential of political action.

Author Biography

David West is Deputy Head of School at Australian National University.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • A Political Preface: Social Movements, Global Crisis and the Failure of Institutional Politics
  • PART I. FOUNDATIONS
  • Chapter One. Introduction: What are Social Movements?
  • Chapter Two. The Role of Social Movements in the Making of Modern Politics
  • PART II. SOCIAL MOVEMENTS IN CONTEMPORARY POLITICS
  • Chapter Three. Illusions of Stability: The Surprising Emergence of New Social Movements
  • Chapter Four. Politics of Culture and Identity
  • Chapter Five. The Politics of Survival
  • Chapter Six. The New Politics of Exploitation
  • PART III. THEORIES OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
  • Chapter Seven. Theories of Social Movements: I. Normative and Formal Approaches
  • Chapter Eight. Theories of Social Movements: II. Historical and Substantive Approaches
  • Chapter Nine. Conclusion: A Critical Theory of Social Movements?
  • Bibliography
  • Index

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