First Movers and Circular Cycles of Contention

  • Silas F. Harrebye


Before dealing with the nuts and bolts of activism, let us take a look at the machinery of social movements in order to better understand how such movements work — as they are made up of activists. In this chapter I therefore present a systematic overview of the major theories of social movements. I map out the most relevant theoretical models and concepts, and position myself within this landscape. I also position myself in history as I argue how societal developments and the consequent changes in organization, strategy, and purpose of activists mean that theories about new social movements and the alter-globalization movements, which in a developmental historical sense followed, must be supplemented by theories more adapted to analyze today’s creative forms of activism. The subsequent reconfiguration of the phases that social movements go through, from rise to fall, includes an explanation of why the trigger term is useful in the analysis of creative types of activism.


Collective Action Social Movement Creative Activism Civil Disobedience Political Opportunity 
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Copyright information

© Silas F. Harrebye 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silas F. Harrebye
    • 1
  1. 1.Roskilde UniversityDenmark

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