The black flag means negation, anger, outrage, mourning, beauty, hope, and the fostering and sheltering of new forms of human life and relationship on and with the earth. This book aims to destroy many of the assumptions and stereotypes about anarchism, anarchists, and anarchist movements. It introduces Mario Diani's definition of a social movement: networks of individuals and organizations, united by some shared identity, that engage in extra-institutional action with the interest of changing society. Social movements must be composed of individuals. The book provides new insights into individual participants in anarchist movements by investigating what the micro-level characteristics of contemporary anarchists are, and how these characteristics differ from those of anarchists in past movements. The anarchist movement can be interrogated from many vantage points (especially macro- and meso-analyses), in both longitudinal and cross-sectional contexts. The book explores the usefulness (or lack thereof) of social movement theories for understanding anarchist movements. It challenges the assumption that the state is a strategic location of opportunity from the perspective of radical, anti-state movements. The essential dimensions of "new social movement" (NSM) theories are discussed, with highlights on the differences between the contemporary anarchist movement and other NSMs. The book also explores ideas from major social capital theorists, and considers the value of social capital. Whereas most sociological research on anti-authoritarian diffusion and isomorphism has focused on mainstream organizations or reformist social movements, anarchist movements pose a particular challenge to the earlier findings focused on the non-anarchists.
., Ocupação do Bairro do Bom Sucesso em Odivelas, por 48
Famílias de Barracas (Porto: Afrontamento, 1972).
151 ‘Comunicação do Fiscal’, various items January–May 1973, SCML/CASBM/
152 Kevin J. O’Brien, ‘Rightful Resistance’, World Politics, 49, 1 (1996): 32–35.
153 Vitor Matias Ferreira, ‘A Cidade e o Campo. Uma Leitura Comparada do
Movimento Social, 1974–1975’, Revista Crítica de Ciências Sociais, 18/19/20
154 MarioDiani, ‘“Leaders” or Brokers? Positions and Influence in Social
Movement Networks’, in Social Movements and Networks
movement, and more specifically, a
(radical) social movement. Political theorist Daniel Koehler offers a definition of “Radical Social Movement[s],” building off the concept of a “social
movement” as defined by Sociologist MarioDiani (1992, 13). Koehler’s
(2014, 4) defines radical social movements as:
Networks of informal interactions between a plurality of individuals,
groups and/or organizations having the character of a counterculture
with the primary goal to influence (positively or negatively), fundamentally alter, or destroy a specified target society on the basis
the non-anarchist movements they participate in, although they may often be some of the most active partisans
driving forward campaigns and struggles in those very movements.
This chapter introduces the central issues relevant to the sociological
study of anarchist movements, especially MarioDiani’s (1992) well-known
definition of a social movement: networks of individuals and organizations,
united by some shared identity, that engage in extra-institutional action with
the interest of changing society. This definition is used as the starting place
. Soule and Hanspeter Kriesi (eds), The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements ( Chichester : John Wiley & Sons , 2008 ), p. 577 .
46 Donatella della Porta and MarioDiani , Social Movements: An Introduction ( Oxford : Blackwell , 1999 ), p. 4 .
47 ‘New monastic movements’ (for example the Community of St John or Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal) founded from 1960s are not within the remit of this book. Angela A. Aidala, ‘ Social Change, Gender Roles, and New Religious Movements ’, Sociological Analysis , 46 ( 1985 ), 287 – 314