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Are National Politics Local? Social Movement Responses to the 2004 US Presidential Election

  • Kathleen M. Blee
  • Ashley Currier

Social movements and elections pose alternative options for political action (Garner and Zald 1987; Tilly 1988b). Social movements operate outside the formal institutions of politics; elections operate within. As competing models for effecting social change, social movements and electoral campaigns might be expected to differ considerably in their operations, personnel, strategies, and tactics, but that is not always the case. In movement-rich, modern democratic societies, a “fuzzy and permeable boundary” often separates electoral campaigns and social movements (McFarland 1998; D. Meyer 2000, 2003, 2004; also Banaszak 2003; Earl and Schussman 2004; Goldstone 2004, p. 336; Koopmans 2004). Much research has focused on how social movements cross this boundary and affect elections or bring their members into institutional politics (Knoke 1990; Andrews 1997; Burstein 1998; Green et al., 1998; Burstein and Linton 2002; Meyer 2003). By examining social movement groups in Pittsburgh before and after the 2004 presidential election, we explore influence in the opposite direction: how elections affect social movements.

Keywords

Social Movement Presidential Election Strategic Action Electoral Campaign Political Opportunity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen M. Blee
    • 1
  • Ashley Currier
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of Sociology and Women's StudiesTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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