Poli 148 Essay

Submitted By ndibra
Words: 654
Pages: 3

Poli 148 – October 2, 2013
Civil Society
Today: the sphere of uncoerced human association and also the set of relational networks formed for the sake of family, faith, interest and ideology fill this space (Walzer)
Examples: press, sports organizations etc
A prerequisite of such for social movements to emerge
A thriving civil society does not necessitate a positive/happy thing
Skocpol = revolutions are actually rare occurrences
How can we characterize revolutions?
Transforms the state/ how its organized
Transforms class structures
Transforms dominant ideologies
Rapid transformations
Class-based (relates to skocpol’s definition mostly)
Is affected, can affect, those outside the state
Revolutions – Skocpol
Social revolutions are set apart from other sorts of conflicts and transformative processes above all by the combination of two coincidences: the coincidence of societal structural change with class upheaval; and the coincidence of political with social transformation
Has an emphasis on class – borrowed from Marxist scholars
Idea of what is encompassed in a revolution = what differentiates her
Writing in the late 1970s
Is discontent all that’s needed to make a social movement/revolution come about?
Questions we are thinking about
Why do social movements occur?
How do social movements get forged?
When does this occur?
Tarrow says unhappy dissatisfied people are not enough to begin them
Some approaches to answering those questions…
1. Political process approach:
a. Examines economic, political and structural shifts and how they open up possibilities and opportunities for collective action
2. Resource mobilization approach:
a. Examines the resources available to organizations
3. Social network theory
a. Less interested in who joins, instead examines the networks within a community
4. Cultural approach
a. Focus on perceptions of those taking part: symbols, language, discourse, and emotions
Political Processes (Tarrow reading)
Emphasis on political opportunities
Consistent dimensions of political environment that provides incentives for collective action by affecting people’s expectations for success or failure (Tarrow 76-77)
Resource external to group
Looks at the great depression
Why is that the while all these countries were affected by it why did it go on to affect countries differently
Examples of political opportunities
Increasing access
Shifting political alignments
Civil rights movement
Dividing elites
Tiananmen square, China 1989
Influential allies
Individuals, political parties, religious organizations, worker unions
Repression and facilitation
Recap: What is a state?
The state s an organization – an administrative entity with political power
A product of human association (Stuart Hill)
The state as a set of institutions that embody political power
What is an institution? What do they do?
They embody written rules and norms
Ex. Schools, military, police, judicial system
Can constrain ones behavior