Monthly Archives: February 2012

Leaving the Tea Party (Patriots)?

Mark Meckler has just resigned from the leadership of the Tea Party Patriots, an organization he and Jenny Beth Martin, started in 2009.  Because Meckler was the most visible exponent of a fundamentalist grassroots orientation to political activism within the … Continue reading

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Do movements own their crazies?

Meredith Lowell, a self-styled animal rights activist, was arrested Tuesday in Cleveland for contracting the murder of someone (almost anyone!) wearing fur. Ms. Lowell made the initial solicitation on Facebook, offering somewhat less than $1,000 for a murder that would … Continue reading

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Movement influence: it’s not forever

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted to license two new nuclear reactors in Georgia, the first new licenses in more than 30 years.  Activists can’t count on social movement victories to be permanent, and activists that leave the field cede political … Continue reading

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What courts can/ will do

Today’s news provides more data on the extent and limits of the judiciary as a venue for social movements: A federal appellate panel (9th district) has upheld District Judge Vaughn R. Walker’s decision to strike down California’s ban on same … Continue reading

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A protest is a threat (the Komen debacle)

It’s never just the demonstration that brings about change.  Rather, it’s the larger actions that demonstrators promise (and authorities fear) that lead to concessions.  Demonstrators threaten to storm the barricades, stop paying taxes, or vote, or contribute money.  Their targets … Continue reading

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Methods and movements: how to study social movements

I was part of an online roundtable of researchers discussing how to study social movements.  It’s at The Society Pages, and includes Jeffrey Alexander (Yale), Neal Caren (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), Nathan Clough (University of Minnesota, Duluth), Myra … Continue reading

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How the Tea Party produced candidate Romney

This essay is part of a larger dialogue at Mobilizing Ideas, which also includes pieces by Neal Caren, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Tina Fetner, McMaster University Richard Lloyd and Steven Tepper, Vanderbilt University Chris Parker, University of Washington … Continue reading

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