The contributors to Beyond Civil Society argue that the conventional distinction between civic and uncivic protest, and between activism in institutions and in the streets, does not accurately describe the complex interactions of forms and locations of activism characteristic of twenty-first-century Latin America. They show that most contemporary political activism in the region relies upon both confrontational collective action and civic participation at different moments. Operating within fluid, dynamic, and heterogeneous fields of contestation, activists have not been contained by governments or conventional political categories, but rather have overflowed their boundaries, opening new democratic spaces or extending existing ones in the process. These essays offer fresh insight into how the politics of activism, participation, and protest are manifest in Latin America today while providing a new conceptual language and an interpretive framework for examining issues that are critical for the future of the region and beyond.
Contributors. Sonia E. Alvarez, Kiran Asher, Leonardo Avritzer, Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Andrea Cornwall, Graciela DiMarco, Arturo Escobar, Raphael Hoetmer, Benjamin Junge, Luis E. Lander, Agustín Laó-Montes, Margarita López Maya, José Antonio Lucero, Graciela Monteagudo, Amalia Pallares, Jeffrey W. Rubin, Ana Claudia Teixeira, Millie Thayer
Narratives of the 1960s typically describe an ascending arc of political activism that peaked in 1968, then began a precipitous descent as the revolutionary dreams of the New Left failed to come to fruition. The May 1970 killings at Kent State often stand as an epitaph to a decade of protest, after which the principal story becomes the resurgence of the right.
In Beyond Vietnam: The Politics of Protest in Massachusetts, 1974–1990, Robert Surbrug challenges this prevailing paradigm by examining three protest movements that were direct descendants of Vietnam-era activism: the movement against nuclear energy; the nuclear weapons freeze movement; and the Central American solidarity movement. Drawing lessons from the successes and failures of the preceding era, these movements had a significant impact on the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, which itself had been undergoing major transformations in the wake of the 1960s.
By focusing on one state—Massachusetts—Surbrug is able to illuminate the interaction between the activist left and mainstream liberalism, showing how each influenced the other and how together they helped shape the politics of the 1970s and 1980s. During these years, Massachusetts emerged as a center of opposition to nuclear power, the continuing Cold War arms race, and Ronald Reagan's interventionist policies in Central America. The state's role in national policy was greatly enhanced by prominent political figures such as Senator Edward Kennedy, Speaker of the House Thomas "Tip" O'Neill, presidential candidate Governor Michael Dukakis, Vietnam veteran Senator John Kerry, and moderate Republican Silvio Conte.
What Beyond Vietnam shows is that the rise of the right in the aftermath of the 1960s was by no means a unilateral ascendancy. Instead it involved a bifurcation of American politics in which an increasingly strong conservative movement was vigorously contested by an activist left and a reinvigorated mainstream liberalism.
Research on social movements has historically focused on the traditional weapons of the working class, especially labor strikes and street demonstrations-but everyday actions, such as eating or singing, which can also be turned into a means of protest, have yet to be fully explored. Originally published as La grève de la faim by Johanna Siméant and La musique en colère by Christophe Traïni, Bodies in Protest is an interdisciplinary and comparative history of these modes of action that reveals how hunger strikes and music ranging from gospel songs to rock anthems can efficiently convey political messages and mobilize the masses. Common to both approaches, the chapters show, is a direct appeal to the emotions and a reliance on the physical, concrete language of the human body.
*Breaking Laws: Violence and Civil Disobedience in Protest* questions the complex relationship between social movements and violence through two contrasted lenses; first through the short-lived radical left wing post ’68 revolutionary violence, and secondly in the present diffusion of civil disobedience actions, often at the border between non-violence and violence. This book shows how and why violence occurs or does not, and what different meanings it can take. The short-lived extreme left revolutionary groups that grew out of May ’68 and the opposition to the Vietnam War (such as the German Red Army Faction, the Italian Red Brigades, and the Japanese Red Army) are without any doubt on the violent side. More ambiguous are the burgeoning contemporary forms of "civil" disobedience, breaking the law with the aim of changing it. In theory, these efforts are associated with non-violence and self-restraint. In practice, the line is more difficult to trace, as much depends on how political players define and frame non-violence and political legitimacy.
From 1652 until 1795, the Cape of Good Hope was a Dutch settlement marked by tensions, often portrayed as antagonism between the oppressive Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the Cape’s aggrieved burghers. However, by comparing the political structures, institutions and dynamics of the Dutch Republic and its overseas settlement, the Teun Baartman demonstrates that this relationship was more cooperative and that the Cape burghers were able to influence policies in their favor similar to the way burghers in the Dutch Republic did by forming political factions. Using the Cape Conflict of the later eighteenth century as a case study, Baartman illustrates that it was in fact a fight for power between factions within the ruling elite, which consisted of both VOC officials and burghers. This book offers new evidence, a variety of interpretations, and an innovative narrative about where burghers came from, what their position was, and how the Cape political world operated.
Since the late nineteenth century, Brazilians have turned to documentaries to explain their country to themselves and to the world. In a magisterial history covering one hundred years of cinema, Darlene J. Sadlier identifies Brazilians’ unique contributions to a diverse genre while exploring how that genre has, in turn, contributed to the making and remaking of Brazil.
A Century of Brazilian Documentary Film is a comprehensive tour of feature and short films that have charted the social and political story of modern Brazil. The Amazon appears repeatedly and vividly. Sometimes—as in a prize-winning 1922 feature—the rainforest is a galvanizing site of national pride; at other times, the Amazon has been a focus for land-reform and Indigenous-rights activists. Other key documentary themes include Brazil’s swings from democracy to dictatorship, tensions between cosmopolitanism and rurality, and shifting attitudes toward race and gender. Sadlier also provides critical perspectives on aesthetics and media technology, exploring how documentaries inspired dramatic depictions of poverty and migration in the country’s Northeast and examining Brazilians’ participation in streaming platforms that have suddenly democratized filmmaking.
Situated on Broadway between Fourteenth and Seventeenth Streets, Union Square occupies a central place in both the geography and the history of New York City. Though this compact space was originally designed in 1830 to beautify a residential neighborhood and boost property values, by the early days of the Civil War, New Yorkers had transformed Union Square into a gathering place for political debate and protest. As public use of the square changed, so, too, did its design. When Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux redesigned the park in the late nineteenth century, they sought to enhance its potential as a space for the orderly expression of public sentiment. A few decades later, anarchists and Communist activists, including Emma Goldman, turned Union Square into a regular gathering place where they would advocate for radical change. In response, a series of city administrations and business groups sought to quash this unruly form of dissidence by remaking the square into a new kind of patriotic space. As Joanna Merwood-Salisbury shows us in Design for the Crowd, the history of Union Square illustrates ongoing debates over the proper organization of urban space—and competing images of the public that uses it.
In this sweeping history of an iconic urban square, Merwood-Salisbury gives us a review of American political activism, philosophies of urban design, and the many ways in which a seemingly stable landmark can change through public engagement and design.
Published with the support of Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund.
Public protests are a vital tool for asserting grievances and creating temporary, yet tangible, communities as the world becomes more democratic and urban in the twenty-first century. While the political and social aspects of protest have been extensively studied, little attention has been paid to the physical spaces in which protests happen. Yet place is a crucial aspect of protests, influencing the dynamics and engagement patterns among participants. In The Design of Protest, Tali Hatuka offers the first extensive discussion of the act of protest as a design: that is, a planned event in a space whose physical geometry and symbolic meaning are used and appropriated by its organizers, who aim to challenge socio-spatial distance between political institutions and the people they should serve.
Presenting case studies from around the world, including Tiananmen Square in Beijing; the National Mall in Washington, DC; Rabin Square in Tel Aviv; and the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Hatuka identifies three major dimensions of public protests: the process of planning the protest in a particular place; the choice of spatial choreography of the event, including the value and meaning of specific tactics; and the challenges of performing contemporary protests in public space in a fragmented, complex, and conflicted world. Numerous photographs, detailed diagrams, and plans complement the case studies, which draw upon interviews with city officials, urban planners, and protesters themselves.
The Emotions of Protest
James M. Jasper University of Chicago Press, 2018 Library of Congress BF576.J387 2018 | Dewey Decimal 152.4
In Donald Trump’s America, protesting has roared back into fashion. The Women’s March, held the day after Trump’s inauguration, may have been the largest in American history, and resonated around the world. Between Trump’s tweets and the march’s popularity, it is clear that displays of anger dominate American politics once again.
There is an extensive body of research on protest, but the focus has mostly been on the calculating brain—a byproduct of structuralism and cognitive studies—and less on the feeling brain. James M. Jasper’s work changes that, as he pushes the boundaries of our present understanding of the social world. In The Emotions of Protest, Jasper lays out his argument, showing that it is impossible to separate cognition and emotion. At a minimum, he says, we cannot understand the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street or pro- and anti-Trump rallies without first studying the fears and anger, moral outrage, and patterns of hate and love that their members feel.
This is a book centered on protest, but Jasper also points toward broader paths of inquiry that have the power to transform the way social scientists picture social life and action. Through emotions, he says, we are embedded in a variety of environmental, bodily, social, moral, and temporal contexts, as we feel our way both consciously and unconsciously toward some things and away from others. Politics and collective action have always been a kind of laboratory for working out models of human action more generally, and emotions are no exception. Both hearts and minds rely on the same feelings racing through our central nervous systems. Protestors have emotions, like everyone else, but theirs are thinking hearts, not bleeding hearts. Brains can feel, and hearts can think.
The women's movement in India has a long and rich history in which millions of ordinary women live, work, and struggle to survive in order to remake their family, home, and social lives. Whether fighting for safe contraception, literacy, water, and electricity or resisting sexual harassment, a vibrant and active women's movement is thriving in many parts of India today.
Fields of Protest explores the political and cultural circumstances under which groups of women organize to fight for their rights and self-worth. Starting with Bombay and Calcutta, Raka Ray discusses the creation of "political fields"--structured, unequal, and socially constructed political environments within which organizations exist, flourish, or fail. In other words, women's organizations are not autonomous or free agents; rather, they inherit a "field" and its accompanying social relations, and when they act, they act in response to it and within it. Drawing on the literature of both social movements and feminism, Ray analyzes the striking differences between the movements in these two cities.
Using an innovative and comparative perspective, Ray offers a unique look at Indian activist women and adds a new dimension to the study of women's movements on a global level.
"Raka Ray's very important and vividly-textured study of women's radical political activism in Bombay and Calcutta between the seventies and the nineties, breaks two of the strongest walls of silence: about Left-radical politics, and about women's self-organization and modes of struggle within as well as against the grain of Left discourses. Written with sparkle, lucidity and affection." Economic and Political Weekly
"Drawing on the literature describing social movements and feminism in India, Ray analyzes the differences between the causes that define women's struggles in Bombay and Calcutta and the differences in their style and strategy. She also traces the history of women's movements in India and provides a list of political parties and women's organizations in India." India Abroad
"This is one of the most important books about women's movements written in the past decade. An eminently readable book. A rich and compelling account of the vitality and complexity of the contemporary Indian women's movement." American Journal of Sociology
"This is a innovative comparative political analysis. Ray's use of personal life stories of activist women helps to create an interesting and lively discussion of local women's movements in a global context." Journal of Women's History
"Raka Ray's book is an end-of the-millennium gem in the treasure chest of literature on women's movement in India. Ray gives us an important book. Her historical details regarding the political realities in Bombay and Calcutta are as impressive as the exhaustiveness of her interview-based research. Ray's book offers stylistic and methodological insights that can attract the attention of an India novice as well as prove useful to a seasoned India researcher, interested in local-level politics and local women's movements." Gender and Society
"Fields of Protest is an important demonstration of how collective interests and identities are shaped within varying locations." Feminist Collections
"Raka Ray's skillful analysis provides an understanding of the regional variations in the issues and agendas of the women's movement through a comparison of women's organizations in two metropolitan cities." Feminist Studies
"Fields of Protest is a graceful, smart, careful study. Its central argument is clearly developed and well substantiated through reference to excellent interviews with activists in the two cities. Ray deftly moves back and forth between the local, regional, and national level, the stories of activists and debates among sociologists and women's studies scholars. What Ray does very successfully is to fulfill her promise of moving beyond the simple dichotomy between heroism and victimization to explore the nuanced, complicated ways in which women live, work, and struggle." Journal of Asian Studies
"An informative and exciting read for those interested in rethinking feminist activism in India and other countries in relation to its contexts of Left and political activity, and for those interested in re-siting the articulation of political struggle in urban, rather than simply regional and national spaces." Chicago South Asia Newsletter
Raka Ray is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.
The struggle for civil rights among black Americans has moved into the voting booth. How such a shift came about—and what it means—is revealed in this timely reflection on black presidential politics in recent years.
Since 1984, largely as a result of Jesse Jackson’s presidential bid, blacks have been galvanized politically. Drawing on a substantial national survey of black voters, Katherine Tate shows how this process manifested itself at the polls in 1984, 1988, and 1992. In an analysis of the black presidential vote by region, income, age, and gender, she is able to identify unique aspects of the black experience as they shape political behavior, and to answer longstanding questions about that behavior.
Unique in its focus on the black electorate, this study illuminates a little-understood and tremendously significant aspect of American politics. It will benefit those who wish to understand better the subtle interplay of race and politics, at the voting booth and beyond.
From Protest to President describes an inspirational odyssey of a young, Black activist coming of age in Mississippi and Chicago in the tumultuous 1960s and '70s, culminating in a notable thirty-five-year presidency at Thomas Edison State University.
From barbershop encounters with Malcolm X to death threats at Illinois State University and gunfire at Towson State, Pruitt provides a powerful narrative poised at the intersection of social justice, higher education and politics. He recounts leadership experiences at HBCUs and public universities across the country, as he advocated for autonomy at Morgan State and fought to preserve Tennessee State University.
His steadfast activism, integrity and courage led to groundbreaking work in providing access to higher education for working adults and the military.
From his days as a student protester in high school and college to his appearances on Capitol Hill, Pruitt has earned the reputation as a candid and influential leader in higher education.
Recent years have seen a new development in the growth and spread of popular protest: protests that began as local, homogeneous events-such as Occupy Wall Street or the protests of the Arab Spring-quickly left their original locations and local specificity behind and became global. This book looks at the development of this wave of protests, with an eye on protests against austerity and neoliberal economic policies, and offers a global view, covering events in Turkey, Brazil, Venezuela, South Africa, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and other locations.
In Protest: 150 Poems for Human Rights is an anthology of new poetry exploring human rights and social justice themes. This collection, a collaboration between the Human Rights Consortium at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, and the Keats House Poets, brings together writing that is often very moving, frequently touching, and occasionally humorous. The 150 poems included here come from over 16 countries, and provide a rare insight into experiences of oppression, discrimination, and dispossession - and yet they also offer strong messages of hope and solidarity. This anthology brings you contemporary works that are truly outstanding for both their human rights and poetic content. Arranged across thirteen themes - Expression, History, Land, Exile, War, Children, Sentenced, Slavery, Women, Regimes, Workers, Unequal, and Protest - you will find within this collection a poem that inspires and engages you.
In this important contribution both to the study of social protest and to French social history, Roger Gould breaks with previous accounts that portray the Paris Commune of 1871 as a continuation of the class struggles of the 1848 Revolution. Focusing on the collective identities framing conflict during these two upheavals and in the intervening period, Gould reveals that while class played a pivotal role in 1848, it was neighborhood solidarity that was the decisive organizing force in 1871.
The difference was due to Baron Haussmann's massive urban renovation projects between 1852 and 1868, which dispersed workers from Paris's center to newly annexed districts on the outskirts of the city. In these areas, residence rather than occupation structured social relations. Drawing on evidence from trail documents, marriage records, reports of police spies, and the popular press, Gould demonstrates that this fundamental rearrangement in the patterns of social life made possible a neighborhood insurgent movement; whereas the insurgents of 1848 fought and died in defense of their status as workers, those in 1871 did so as members of a besieged urban community.
A valuable resource for historians and scholars of social movements, this work shows that collective identities vary with political circumstances but are nevertheless constrained by social networks. Gould extends this argument to make sense of other protest movements and to offer predictions about the dimensions of future social conflict.
Activists and politicians have long recognized the power of a good story to move people to action. In early 1960 four black college students sat down at a whites-only lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, and refused to leave. Within a month sit-ins spread to thirty cities in seven states. Student participants told stories of impulsive, spontaneous action—this despite all the planning that had gone into the sit-ins. “It was like a fever,” they said.
Francesca Polletta’s It Was Like a Fever sets out to account for the power of storytelling in mobilizing political and social movements. Drawing on cases ranging from sixteenth-century tax revolts to contemporary debates about the future of the World Trade Center site, Polletta argues that stories are politically effective not when they have clear moral messages, but when they have complex, often ambiguous ones. The openness of stories to interpretation has allowed disadvantaged groups, in particular, to gain a hearing for new needs and to forge surprising political alliances. But popular beliefs in America about storytelling as a genre have also hurt those challenging the status quo.
A rich analysis of storytelling in courtrooms, newsrooms, public forums, and the United States Congress, It Was Like a Fever offers provocative new insights into the dynamics of culture and contention.
In June 1990, Ecuador saw the first major indigenous rebellion within its borders since the colonial era. For weeks, indigenous protesters participated in marches, staged demonstrations, seized government offices, and blockaded roads. Since this insurrection, indigenous movements have become increasingly important in the fight against Latin American Neoliberalism.
Roberta Rice's New Politics of Protest seeks to analyze when, where, and why indigenous protests against free-market reforms have occurred in Latin America. Comparing cases in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile, this book details the emergence of indigenous movements under and against Neoliberal governments. Rice uses original field research and interviews with indigenous leaders to examine long-term patterns of indigenous political activism and overturn accepted theories on the role of the Indian in democracy.
A useful and engaging study, The New Politics of Protest seeks to determine when indigenous movements become viable political parties. It covers the most recent rounds of protest to demonstrate how a weak and unresponsive government is more likely to experience revolts against unpopular reforms. This influential work will be of interest to scholars of Latin American politics and indigenous studies as well as anyone studying oppressed peoples who have organized nationwide strikes and protests, blocked economic reforms, toppled corrupt leaders, and even captured presidencies.
Organized in the mid-1970s as a means of communal protection against livestock rustling and general thievery in Peru’s rugged northern mountains, the rondas campesinas (peasants who make the rounds) grew into an entire system of peasant justice and one of the most significant Andean social movements of the late twentieth century. Nightwatch is the first full-length ethnography and the only study in English to examine this grassroots agrarian social movement, which became a rallying point for rural pride. Drawing on fieldwork conducted over the course of a decade, Orin Starn chronicles the historical conditions that led to the formation of the rondas, the social and geographical expansion of the movement, and its gradual decline in the 1990s. Throughout this anecdotal yet deeply analytical account, the author relies on interviews with ronda participants, villagers, and Peru’s regional and national leaders to explore the role of women, the involvement of nongovernmental organizations, and struggles for leadership within the rondas. Starn moves easily from global to local contexts and from the fifteenth to the twentieth century, presenting this movement in a straightforward manner that makes it accessible to both specialists and nonspecialists. An engagingly written story of village mobilization, Nightwatch is also a meditation on the nature of fieldwork, the representation of subaltern people, the relationship between resistance and power, and what it means to be politically active at the end of the century. It will appeal widely to scholars and students of anthropology, Latin American studies, cultural studies, history, subaltern studies, and those interested in the politics of social movements.
The originality of this study of rural transformation stems from the way in which Professor Kimambo has used the oral tradition to reveal the history of the impact of the world economy in northeastern Tanzania. First under the pressures of commodity trade, and later under German and British imperialism, the peasant producers of this region were forced into participation in capitalist production.
These partial changes destroyed the Pare’s balanced subsistence structure. But throughout the colonial period they were frustrated in their efforts to transform themselves fully into capitalist producers. These struggles finally led to open revolt in 1947 and it was three years before the protest ended. Between 1947 and 1960 the colonial government tried to reverse the effects of the revolt without providing the kind of transformation desired by the peasants.
This study illustrates vividly the difference between the intentions of capital and those of the colonized peasantry. The intentions of the two sides seemed to be incompatible. While imperialism would allow for the limited participation that would maximize profits for metropolitan capital, the peasants were struggling for freedom to transform themselves into capitalist producers.
Performance Constellations maps transnational protest movements and the dynamics of networked expressive behavior in the streets and online, as people struggle to be heard and effect long-term social justice. Its case studies explore collective political action in Latin America, including the Zapatistas in the mid-’90s, protests during the 2001 Argentine economic crisis, the 2011 Chilean student movement, the 2014–2015 mobilizations for the disappeared Ayotzinapa students, and the 2018 transnational reproductive rights movement. The book analyzes uses of space, time, media communication, and corporeality in protests such as virtual sit-ins, flash mobs, scarfazos, and hashtag campaigns, arguing that these protests not only challenge hegemonic power but are also socially transformative. While other studies have focused either on digital activism or on street protests, Performance Constellations shows that they are in fact integrally entwined. Zooming in on protest movements and art-activism in Mexico, Argentina, and Chile, and putting contemporary insurgent actions in dialogue with their historical precedents, the book demonstrates how, even in moments of extreme duress, social actors in Latin America have taken up public and virtual space to intervene politically and to contest dominant powers.
Players and Arenas brings together a diverse group of experts to examine the interactions between political protestors and the many strategic players they encounter, such as cultural institutions, religious organizations, and the mass media“as well as potential allies, competitors, recruits, and funders. Discussing protestors and players as they interact within the arenas of specific social contexts, the essays show that the main constraints on what protestors can accomplish come not from social and political structures, but from other players with different goals and interests. Through a careful treatment of these situations, this volume offers a new way to approach the role of social protest in national and international politics.
In a brilliantly-conceived book, Jeremi Suri puts the tumultuous 1960s into a truly international perspective in the first study to examine the connections between great power diplomacy and global social protest. Profoundly disturbed by increasing social and political discontent, Cold War powers united on the international front, in the policy of detente. Though reflecting traditional balance of power considerations, detente thus also developed from a common urge for stability among leaders who by the late 1960s were worried about increasingly threatening domestic social activism.
In the early part of the decade, Cold War pressures simultaneously inspired activists and constrained leaders; within a few years activism turned revolutionary on a global scale. Suri examines the decade through leaders and protesters on three continents, including Mao Zedong, Charles de Gaulle, Martin Luther King Jr., Daniel Cohn-Bendit, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. He describes connections between policy and protest from the Berkeley riots to the Prague Spring, from the Paris strikes to massive unrest in Wuhan, China.
Designed to protect the existing political order and repress movements for change, detente gradually isolated politics from the public. The growth of distrust and disillusion in nearly every society left a lasting legacy of global unrest, fragmentation, and unprecedented public skepticism toward authority.
“Constitutes an important and timely addition to the literature on peasant rebellion; wisely, the editors have been eclectic in drawing from some of the leading historians, anthropologists, political scientists, and sociologists active in the field an analysis of the forms that rural violence has taken through the past three centuries.”—Pacific Affairs
When the 2011 municipal takeover in Flint, Michigan placed the city under state control, some supported the intervention while others saw it as an affront to democracy. Still others were ambivalent about what was supposed to be a temporary disruption. However, the city’s fiscal emergency soon became a public health emergency—the Flint Water Crisis—that captured international attention.
But how did Flint’s municipal takeovers, which suspended local representational government, alter the local political system? In Power, Participation, and Protest in Flint, Michigan, Ashley Nickels addresses the ways residents, groups, and organizations were able to participate politically—or not—during the city’s municipal takeovers in 2002 and 2011. She explains how new politics were created as organizations developed, new coalitions emerged and evolved, and people’s understanding of municipal takeovers changed.
Inwalking readers through the policy history of, implementation of, and reaction to Flint’s two municipal takeovers, Nickels highlights how the ostensibly apolitical policy is, in fact, highly political.
Accounts of Jewish immigrants usually describe the role of education in helping youngsters earn a higher social position than their parents. Melissa F. Weiner argues that New York City schools did not serve as pathways to mobility for Jewish or African American students. Instead, at different points in the city's history, politicians and administrators erected similar racial barriers to social advancement by marginalizing and denying resources that other students enjoyed. Power, Protest, and the Public Schools explores how activists, particularly parents and children, responded to inequality; the short-term effects of their involvement; and the long-term benefits that would spearhead future activism. Weiner concludes by considering how today's Hispanic and Arab children face similar inequalities within public schools.
Although grass-roots social movements are an important force of social and political change, they quite often fail to achieve their lofty goals. Similarly, the inability of research to systematically explain the impact of such movements stands in sharp contrast to their emotional appeal. Protest, Opportunities, and Mechanisms attempts to rejuvenate current scholarship by developing a comprehensive theory of social movements and political change.
In addition to reviewing the existing literature on the political outcomes of social movements, this volume analyzes the examples of the American civil rights movement and anti-nuclear energy efforts in eighteen countries to forge a new understanding of their momentous impact.
In looking back on his editorship of Crisis magazine, W. E. B. Du Bois said, “We condensed more news about Negroes and their problems in a month than most colored papers before this had published in a year.” Since its founding by Du Bois in 1910, Crisis has been the primary published voice of the NAACP. Born in an age of Jim Crow racism, often strapped for funds, the magazine struggled and endured, all the while providing a forum for people of color to document their inherent dignity and proclaim their definitive worth as human beings.
As the magazine’s editor from 1910 until 1934, Du Bois guided the content and the aim of Crisis with a decisive hand. He ensured that each issue argued for civil rights, economic justice, and social equality, always framing America’s intractable color line in an international perspective. Du Bois benefited from a deep pool of black literary and artistic genius, whether by commissioning the visual creativity of Harlem Renaissance artists for Crisis covers or by publishing poems and short stories from New Negro writers. From North to South, from East to West, and even reaching across the globe, Crisis circulated its ideas and marshaled its impact far and wide.
Building on the solid foundation Du Bois laid, subsequent editors and contributors covered issues vital to communities of color, such as access to resources during the New Deal era, educational opportunities related to the historic Brown decision, the realization of basic civil rights at midcentury, American aid to Africa and Caribbean nations, and the persistent economic inequalities of today’s global era.
Despite its importance, little has been written about the historical and cultural significance of this seminal magazine. By exploring how Crisis responded to critical issues, the essays in Protest and Propaganda provide the first well-rounded, in-depth look at the magazine's role and influence. The authors show how the essays, columns, and visuals published in Crisis changed conversations, perceptions, and even laws in the United States, thereby calling a fractured nation to more fully live up to its democratic creed. They explain how the magazine survived tremendous odds, document how the voices of justice rose above the clamor of injustice, and demonstrate how relevant such literary, journalistic, and artistic postures remain in a twenty-first-century world still in crisis.
The wage arrears crisis has been one of the biggest problems facing contemporary Russia. At its peak, it has involved some $10 billion worth of unpaid wages and has affected approximately 70 percent of the workforce. Yet public protest in the country has been rather limited. The relative passivity of most Russians in the face of such desperate circumstances is a puzzle for students of both collective action and Russian politics. In Protest and the Politics of Blame, Debra Javeline shows that to understand the Russian public's reaction to wage delays, one must examine the ease or difficulty of attributing blame for the crisis.
Previous studies have tried to explain the Russian response to economic hardship by focusing on the economic, organizational, psychological, cultural, and other obstacles that prevent Russians from acting collectively. Challenging the conventional wisdom by testing these alternative explanations with data from an original nationwide survey, Javeline finds that many of the alternative explanations come up short. Instead, she focuses on the need to specify blame among the dizzying number of culprits and potential problem solvers in the crisis, including Russia's central authorities, local authorities, and enterprise managers. Javeline shows that understanding causal relationships drives human behavior and that specificity in blame attribution for a problem influences whether people address that problem through protest.
Debra Javeline is Assistant Professor of Political Science, Rice University.
The use of print to challenge prevailing ideas and conventions has a long history in American public life. As dissenters in America sought social change, they used print to document, articulate, and disseminate their ideas to others. Protest always begins on the margins, but print is the medium that allows it to reach a larger audience. In Protest on the Page, scholars in multiple disciplines offer ten original essays that examine protest print culture in America since 1865. They explore the surprising range of dissidents who enlisted print in their causes—from vegetarians and anarchists at the advent of the twentieth century, to midcentury evangelicals and tween comic book readers, to GIs and feminists in the 1970s–80s. Together they demonstrate that print has never been a neutral medium, but rather has been instrumental in shaping the substance of protest and its audiences.
Violence against women is one of the most insidious social ills facing the world today. Yet governmental response is inconsistent, ranging from dismissal to aggressive implementation of policies and programs to combat the problem. In her comparative study of thirty-six democratic governments, Laurel Weldon examines the root causes and consequences of the differences in public policy from Northern Europe to Latin America.
She reveals that factors that often influence the development of social policies do not determine policies on violence against women. Neither economic level, religion, region, nor the number of women in government determine governmental responsiveness to this problem. Weldon demonstrates, for example, that Nordic governments take no more action to combat violence against women than Latin American governments, even though the Swedish welfare state is often considered a leader in social policy, particularly with regard to women’s issues.
Instead, the presence of independently organized, active women’s movements plays a greater role in placing violence against women on the public agenda. The breadth and scope of governmental response is greatly enhanced by the presence of an office dedicated to promoting women’s status.
Weldon closes with practical lessons and insights to improve government action on violence against women and other important issues of social justice and democracy.
"Provides a rich prism through which to explore the social, economic, and political development
of black Cincinnati. These studies offer insight into both the dynamics of racism and a
community's changing responses to it." -- Peter Rachleff, author of Black Labor in Richmond
Race Patriotism: Protest and Print Culture in the A.M.E. Church examines important nineteenth-century social issues through the lens of the AME Church and its publications. This book explores the ways in which leaders and laity constructed historical narratives around varied locations to sway public opinion of the day. Drawing on the official church newspaper, the Christian Recorder, and other denominational and rare major primary sources, Bailey goes beyond previously published works that focus solely on the founding era of the tradition or the eastern seaboard or post-bellum South to produce a work than breaks new historiographical ground by spanning the entirety of the nineteenth century and exploring new geographical terrain such as the American West.
Through careful analysis of AME print culture, Bailey demonstrates that far from focusing solely on the “politics of uplift” and seeking to instill bourgeois social values in black society as other studies have suggested, black authors, intellectuals, and editors used institutional histories and other writings for activist purposes and reframed protest in new ways in the postbellum period.
Adding significantly to the literature on the history of the book and reading in the nineteenth century, Bailey examines AME print culture as a key to understanding African American social reform recovering the voices of black religious leaders and writers to provide a more comprehensive and nuanced portrayal of the central debates and issues facing African Americans in the nineteenth century such as migration westward, selecting the appropriate referent for the race, Social Darwinism, and the viability of emigration to Africa. Scholars and students of religious studies, African American studies, American studies, history, and journalism will welcome this pioneering new study.
Julius H. Bailey is the author of Around the Family Altar: Domesticity in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, 1865–1900. He is an associate professor in the Religious Studies Department at the University of Redlands in Redlands, California.
Natural resource extraction has fueled protest movements in Latin America and existing research has drawn considerable scholarly attention to the politics of antimarket contention at the national level, particularly in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Argentina. Despite its residents reporting the third-highest level of protest participation in the region, Peru has been largely ignored in these discussions.
In this groundbreaking study, Moisés Arce exposes a longstanding climate of popular contention in Peru. Looking beneath the surface to the subnational, regional, and local level as inception points, he rigorously dissects the political conditions that set the stage for protest. Focusing on natural resource extraction and its key role in the political economy of Peru and other developing countries, Arce reveals a wide disparity in the incidence, forms, and consequences of collective action.
Through empirical analysis of protest events over thirty-one years, extensive personal interviews with policymakers and societal actors, and individual case studies of major protest episodes, Arce follows the ebb and flow of Peruvian protests over time and space to show the territorial unevenness of democracy, resource extraction, and antimarket contentions. Employing political process theory, Arce builds an interactive framework that views the moderating role of democracy, the quality of institutional representation as embodied in political parties, and most critically, the level of political party competition as determinants in the variation of protest and subsequent government response. Overall, he finds that both the fluidity and fragmentation of political parties at the subnational level impair the mechanisms of accountability and responsiveness often attributed to party competition. Thus, as political fragmentation increases, political opportunities expand, and contention rises. These dynamics in turn shape the long-term development of the state.
Resource Extraction and Protest in Peru will inform students and scholars of globalization, market transitions, political science, contentious politics and Latin America generally, as a comparative analysis relating natural resource extraction to democratic processes both regionally and internationally.
For a Western world anxious to understand Islam and, in particular, Shi’ism, this book arrives with urgently needed information and critical analysis. Hamid Dabashi exposes the soul of Shi’ism as a religion of protest—successful only when in a warring position, and losing its legitimacy when in power.
Dabashi makes his case through a detailed discussion of the Shi’i doctrinal foundations, a panoramic view of its historical unfolding, a varied investigation into its visual and performing arts, and finally a focus on the three major sites of its contemporary contestations: Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon. In these states, Shi’ism seems to have ceased to be a sect within the larger context of Islam and has instead emerged to claim global political attention. Here we see Shi’ism in its combative mode—reminiscent of its traumatic birth in early Islamic history. Hezbollah in Lebanon claims Shi’ism, as do the militant insurgents in Iraq, the ruling Ayatollahs in Iran, and the masses of youthful demonstrators rebelling against their reign. All declare their active loyalties to a religion of protest that has defined them and their ancestry for almost fourteen hundred years.
Shi’sm: A Religion of Protest attends to the explosive conflicts in the Middle East with an abiding attention to historical facts, cultural forces, religious convictions, literary and artistic nuances, and metaphysical details. This timely book offers readers a bravely intelligent history of a world religion.
On February 1, 1960, four African American college students entered the Woolworth department store in Greensboro, North Carolina, and sat down at the lunch counter. This lunch counter, like most in the American South, refused to serve black customers. The four students remained in their seats until the store closed. In the following days, they returned, joined by growing numbers of fellow students. These “sit-in” demonstrations soon spread to other southern cities, drawing in thousands of students and coalescing into a protest movement that would transform the struggle for racial equality.
The Sit-Ins tells the story of the student lunch counter protests and the national debate they sparked over the meaning of the constitutional right of all Americans to equal protection of the law. Christopher W. Schmidt describes how behind the now-iconic scenes of African American college students sitting in quiet defiance at “whites only” lunch counters lies a series of underappreciated legal dilemmas—about the meaning of the Constitution, the capacity of legal institutions to remedy different forms of injustice, and the relationship between legal reform and social change. The students’ actions initiated a national conversation over whether the Constitution’s equal protection clause extended to the activities of private businesses that served the general public. The courts, the traditional focal point for accounts of constitutional disputes, played an important but ultimately secondary role in this story. The great victory of the sit-in movement came not in the Supreme Court, but in Congress, with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, landmark legislation that recognized the right African American students had claimed for themselves four years earlier. The Sit-Ins invites a broader understanding of how Americans contest and construct the meaning of their Constitution.
Honorable Mention, Isis Duarte Book Prize (Latin American Studies Association)
Streetwalking: LGBTQ Lives and Protest in the Dominican Republic is an exploration of the ways that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer persons exercise power in a Catholic Hispanic heteropatriarchal nation-state, namely the Dominican Republic. Lara presents the specific strategies employed by LGBTQ community leaders in the Dominican Republic in their struggle for subjectivity, recognition, and rights. Drawing on ethnographic encounters, film and video, and interviews, LGBTQ community leaders teach readers about streetwalking, confrontación, flipping the script, cuentos, and the use of strategic universalisms in the exercise of power and agency. Rooted in Maria Lugones's theorization of streetwalker strategies and Audre Lorde's theorization of silence and action, this text re-imagines the exercise and locus of power in examples provided by the living, thriving LGBTQ community of the Dominican Republic.
Students played a critical role in the Sandinista struggle in Nicaragua, helping to topple the US-backed Somoza dictatorship in 1979—one of only two successful social revolutions in Cold War Latin America. Debunking misconceptions, Students of Revolution provides new evidence that groups of college and secondary-level students were instrumental in fostering a culture of insurrection—one in which societal groups, from elite housewives to rural laborers, came to see armed revolution as not only legitimate but necessary.
Drawing on student archives, state and university records, and oral histories, Claudia Rueda reveals the tactics by which young activists deployed their age, class, and gender to craft a heroic identity that justified their political participation and to help build cross-class movements that eventually paralyzed the country. Despite living under a dictatorship that sharply curtailed expression, these students gained status as future national leaders, helping to sanctify their right to protest and generating widespread outrage while they endured the regime’s repression. Students of Revolution thus highlights the aggressive young dissenters who became the vanguard of the opposition.
Most contemporary interpretations of the biblical book of Lamentations focus on the figure of the "suffering man" as a role model for submission in the face of God's punishment for sin. Yet such a model offers small consolation to survivors of the Holocaust or other mass atrocities and also ignores chapters 1 and 2 of Lamentations, in which the personification of Zion laments her sufferings and demands a response on behalf of her dying children.
In Surviving Lamentations, Tod Linafelt offers an alternative reading of Lamentations in light of the "literature of survival" (works written by survivors of catastrophe) as well as literary and philosophical reflections on "the survival of literature." He refocuses attention on the figure of Zion as a manifestation of a basic need to give voice to suffering, and traces the afterlife of Lamentations in Jewish literature, in which text after text attempts to provide the response to Zion's lament that is lacking in Lamentations itself.
Seen through Linafelt's eyes, Lamentations emerges as uncannily relevant to contemporary discourse on survival.
What forces bring ordinary people together in public to make their voices heard? What means do they use to break through impediments to democratic participation? Unruly Rhetorics is a collection of essays from scholars in rhetoric, communication, and writing studies inquiring into conditions for activism, political protest, and public assembly. An introduction drawing on Jacques Rancière and Judith Butler explores the conditions under which civil discourse cannot adequately redress suffering or injustice. The essays offer analyses of “unruliness” in case studies from both twenty-first-century and historical sites of social-justice protest. The collection concludes with an afterword highlighting and inviting further exploration of the ethical, political, and pedagogical questions unruly rhetorics raise. Examining multiple modes of expression—embodied, print, digital, and sonic—Unruly Rhetorics points to the possibility that unruliness, more than just one of many rhetorical strategies within political activity, is constitutive of the political itself.
Chicago is home to more intact African American street murals from the 1970s and ’80s than any other U.S. city. Among Chicago’s greatest muralists is the legendary William “Bill” Walker (1927–2011), compared by art historians to Diego Rivera and called the most accomplished contemporary practitioner of the classical mural tradition.
Though his art could not have been more public, Walker maintained a low profile during his working life and virtually withdrew from the public eye after his retirement in 1989. Author Jeff W. Huebner met Walker in 1990 and embarked on a series of insightful interviews that stretched over the next two decades. Those meetings and years of research form the basis of Walls of Prophecy and Protest, the story of Walker’s remarkable life and the movement that he inspired.
Featuring forty-three color images of Walker’s work, most long since destroyed or painted over, this handsome edition reveals the artist who was the primary figure behind Chicago’s famed Wall of Respect and who created numerous murals that depicted African American historical figures, protested social injustice, and promoted love, respect, racial unity, and community change.
One of the first longitudinal studies of collective resistance in the developing world, Waves of Protest examines large-scale contentious action in El Salvador during critical eras in the country’s history.
Providing a compelling analysis of the massive waves of protests from the early twentieth century to the present in El Salvador, Paul D. Almeida fully chronicles one of the largest and most successful campaigns against globalization and privatization in the Americas. Drawing on original protest data from newspapers and other archival sources, Almeida makes an impassioned argument that regime liberalization organizes civil society and, conversely, acts of state-sponsored repression radicalize society. He correlates the ebb and flow of protest waves to the changes in regime liberalization and subsequent de-democratization and back to liberalization.
Almeida shows how institutional access and competitive elections create opportunity for civic organizations that become radicalized when authoritarianism increases, resulting at times in violent protest campaigns that escalate to revolutionary levels. In doing so, he brings negative political conditions and threats to the forefront as central forces driving social movement activity and popular contention in the developing world.
Paul D. Almeida is assistant professor of sociology at Texas A&M University. He is coeditor with Hank Johnston of Latin American Social Movements: Globalization, Democratization, and Transnational Networks.
Poetry is an ideal artistic medium for expressing the fear, sorrow, and triumph of revolutionary times. Words of Protest, Words of Freedom is the first comprehensive collection of poems written during and in response to the American civil rights struggle of 1955–75. Featuring some of the most celebrated writers of the twentieth century—including Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Lowell, and Derek Walcott—alongside lesser-known poets, activists, and ordinary citizens, this anthology presents a varied and vibrant set of voices, highlighting the tremendous symbolic reach of the civil rights movement within and beyond the United States.
Some of the poems address crucial movement-related events—such as the integration of the Little Rock schools, the murders of Emmett Till and Medgar Evers, the emergence of the Black Panther party, and the race riots of the late 1960s—and key figures, including Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and John and Robert Kennedy. Other poems speak more broadly to the social and political climate of the times. Along with Jeffrey Lamar Coleman's headnotes, the poems recall the heartbreaking and jubilant moments of a tumultuous era. Altogether, more than 150 poems by approximately 100 poets showcase the breadth of the genre of civil rights poetry.
Selected contributors. Maya Angelou, W. H. Auden, Amiri Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lucille Clifton Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Langston Hughes, June Jordan, Philip Levine, Audre Lorde, Robert Lowell, Pauli Murray, Huey P. Newton, Adrienne Rich, Sonia Sanchez, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Derek Walcott, Alice Walker, Yevgeny Yevtushenko