Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest
Sala 1989 (8, Spiru Haret st.) 
16-20.05.2016, 9:00-11:30

Instructor: Manès WEISSKIRCHER (European University Institute),

This seminar provides an introduction to key concepts and theories in social movement studies. We do not only discuss questions such as why social movements emerge and what impact they have, but we also focus on key empirical cases. These include the environmental movement, the mobilization for democracy in Eastern Europe at the end of the 1980s, Occupy Wall Street, and many more. 

Participants are asked to read all the texts marked with an asterisk (*) and they are welcome to read all the others. Digital versions of the readings are accessible to those enrolled in the course.

1. What are social movements? What is “Social Movement Studies” all about?
16th of May

Diani, Mario (1992) The Concept of Social Movement. The Sociological Review 40 (1): 1–25. *

Opp, Karl-Dieter (2009) Theories of Political Protest and Social Movements, London: Routledge, 54. [Only one page] *

Calhoun, Craig (1993) "New Social Movements" of the Early Nineteenth Century. Social Science History 17 (3), 385-427.

2. Why do social movements emerge, why do people participate, and how do movements recruit?
17th of May

McAdam, Doug (1999) Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency, 1930-1970. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 40-59. [Main parts of chapter 3: The Political Process Model] *

Jasper, James and Jane Poulsen (1995) Recruiting Strangers and Friends. Moral Shocks and Social Networks in Animal Rights and Antinuclear Protest. Social Problems 42 (4): 401–420.

Olson, Mancur (2015) The Free-Rider Problem. In Jeff Goodwin & James Jasper (ed.) The Social Movements Reader: Cases and Concepts, Malden: Blackwell, 59-64.

3. What do social movements do?
18th of May

The aim of this session is to conduct “protest event analysis” – a widespread method in social movement studies. The aim of the method is to collect systematic data on “protest events” (demonstrations, rallies, strikes, etc.) on a given movement or in a given country. Following a guidebook, we code English newspaper reports on Romanians protests in order to gather systematic information on them.

Walker, Edward, Andrew Martin and John McCarthy (2008) Confronting the State, the Corporation, and the Academy: The Influence of Institutional Targets on Social Movement Repertoires. American Journal of Sociology 114 (1): 35-76. *

Hutter, Swen (2014) Protest Event Analysis and Its Offspring. Methodological Practices in Social Movement Research. In Donatella della Porta (ed.): Methodological Practices in Social Movement Research, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 335-367.

Kitschelt, Herbert (1986) Political Opportunity Structures and Political Protest. Anti-Nuclear Movements in Four Democracies. British Journal of Political Science 16 (1): 57–85.

4. What are the consequences of activism? When do social movements have an impact?
19th of May

Rucht, Dieter (1999) The Impact of Environmental Movements in Western Societies. In Marco Giugni, Doug McAdam & Charles Tilly (eds.) How Social Movements Matter, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 204–224. *

Rossi, Federico (2012) From the Coup to the Escalation of Violence. The Transition to Democracy in Romania, Cosmos Working Paper 2012/13, European University Institute.

d'Anjou, Leo and John Van Male (1998) Between Old and New: Social Movements and Cultural Change. Mobilization. An International Journal 3 (2): 141-161.

5. Further dimensions of social movements and a summary of this week’s insights
20th of May

Della Porta, Donatella (2008) The Emergence of European Movements? Civil Society and the EU. European Journal of Legal Studies 1 (3): 1-37.*

Gerbaudo, Paolo (2012) Tweets and the Streets. Social Media and Contemporary Activism, London: Pluto Press, 102-133. [Chapter 4: ‘The hashtag which did (not) start a revolution’: The Laborious Adding Up to the 99%]

Wapner, Paul (1995) Politics beyond the State. Environmental Activism and World Civic Politics. World Politics 47 (3): 311-340.