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Between promise and practice
Author: Darren Halpin

Whether called pressure groups, NGOs, social movement organisations or organised civil society, the value of ‘groups’ to the policy process, to economic growth, to governance, to political representation and to democracy has always been contested. However, there seems to be a contemporary resurgence in this debate, largely centred on their democratising potential: can groups effectively link citizens to political institutions and policy processes? Are groups an antidote to emerging democratic deficits? Or do they themselves face challenges in demonstrating their legitimacy and representativeness? This book debates the democratic potential and practice of groups, focusing on the vibrancy of internal democracies, and modes of accountability with those who join such groups and to the constituencies they advocate for. It draws on literatures covering national, European and global levels, and presents empirical material from the UK and Australia.

Martha Doyle

attention on the relationship between resources and mobilisation and the associated growth and professionalisation of social movement organisations (McCarthy and Zald, 1977). The main tenet of resource mobilisation perspective was that the emergence of social movements was more a reflection of the resources (including networks and organisations) available to a particular aggrieved population, than necessarily a reflection of the extent of their grievances. Internal resources, such as professional leadership and influential allies, and external resources, including access

in The politics of old age
Abstract only
Andrew Balmer and Anne Murcott

essay and to inform your reader as to how your answer will tackle the question. One way to ensure that you define your objects adequately is to draw on your critical reading of the academic literature. The following example from a student’s essay shows how he explains that the objects he will be writing about are ‘social movement organisations’ and uses a quotation from the literature to define these kinds of objects. And to explain the objects you are writing about still further, it can be helpful to provide an example of them. In the extract below, the

in The craft of writing in sociology
Martha Doyle

in the Irish context where the majority of the organisations were established in response to government initiatives and bolstered by international bodies such as the European Union. By and large, they did not emerge as grassroots movements or result from an intensification of pre-existing disturbances. Neither did the organisations ‘emerge out of episodes of contention’, as posited by Tarrow (2011: 183) in relation to the formation of social movement organisations, and, with the exception of organisations such as the Federation of Active Retired and the Older Women

in The politics of old age
Jenny Pickerill

. Social movement organisations, networks and mobilisation There tends to be heterogeneity and plurality in the forms of social movement organisation (SMO), a constant process of ‘adopting, adapting, and inventing’ (McCarthy 1996). SMOs tend to favour decentralisation, participatory democracy, internal solidarity and ad hoc short-lived leadership. Organisational models have been differentiated by Doyle and McEachern (1998) according to degree of organisation and distribution of power, and in the level of commitment required from participants. These potential differences

in Cyberprotest
Bussing, race and urban space, 1960s–80s
Author: Olivier Esteves

In 1960–62, a large number of white autochthonous parents in Southall became very concerned that the sudden influx of largely non-Anglophone Indian immigrant children in local schools would hold back their children’s education. It was primarily to placate such fears that ‘dispersal’ (or ‘bussing’) was introduced in areas such as Southall and Bradford, as well as to promote the integration of mostly Asian children. It consisted in sending busloads of immigrant children to predominantly white suburban schools, in an effort to ‘spread the burden’. This form of social engineering went on until the early 1980s. This book, by mobilising local and national archival material as well as interviews with formerly bussed pupils in the 1960s and 1970s, reveals the extent to which dispersal was a flawed policy, mostly because thousands of Asian pupils were faced with racist bullying on the playgrounds of Ealing, Bradford, etc. It also investigates the debate around dispersal and the integration of immigrant children, e.g. by analysing the way some Local Education Authorities (Birmingham, London) refused to introduce bussing. It studies the various forms that dispersal took in the dozen or so LEAs where it operated. Finally, it studies local mobilisations against dispersal by ethnic associations and individuals. It provides an analysis of debates around ‘ghetto schools’, ‘integration’, ‘separation’, ‘segregation’ where quite often the US serves as a cognitive map to make sense of the English situation.

Theoretical appendix
Phil Edwards

forms of contentious politics appear. Contention develops when a group’s structure of opportunity favours the development of a new contentious repertoire: a repertoire of action, in other words, which asserts the interests of the group in new and challenging ways. This repertoire becomes established as the group develops frames to support it; the first social movement organisations develop in this phase. c08.indd 214 6/23/2009 2:44:24 PM Social movements and cycles of contention 215 In the phase of diffusion, the new repertoire and its associated frames spread to

in ‘More work! Less pay!’
Martha Doyle

would feel justified in paying lower wages to older workers on the grounds that the pension payment was of a similarly low level, and secondly, that the removal of older workers from the labour market could create new employment for younger unemployed. Macnicol and Blaikie outline how it was not until the late 1930s that organisations led by older people themselves mobilised. These organisations, as the authors note, were similar to contemporary social movement organisations, in that they developed from the grassroots and their sites of activism were largely at the

in The politics of old age
Elizabeth Meehan and Fiona Mackay

groups, social movement organisations, community groups, voluntary sector organisations, church/faith groups, and so on. 3 The development of the strategy was led by Robin Wilson, Director of Democratic Dialogue (no longer in existence). The strategy report was written by Wilson, with

in Everyday life after the Irish conflict
Abstract only
A new politics of protest?
Jenny Pickerill

within some sector of a social movement. Theorists have made extensive studies of the forms of social movement Cyberprotest: a new politics of protest? 177 organisations and their inner functions. Often, it is the non-linear nonhierarchical forms, which can typify the early stages of a movement’s evolution, that are deemed temporary, as the need to formalise to co-ordinate resources or maintain momentum becomes imperative. The use of CMC to help sustain fluid forms of organisation, however, might alter our understanding of the way in which social movement

in Cyberprotest