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POSC 1000 Introduction to Politics Unit Seven: Interest Groups & Social Movements Russell Alan Williams.

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1 POSC 1000 Introduction to Politics Unit Seven: Interest Groups & Social Movements Russell Alan Williams

2 Unit Seven: Interest Groups and Social Movements Required Reading: Mintz, Chapters 9 and 10. “Social Movements and Political Dissent” Outline: 1. Introduction – the Politics of Dissent 2. Political Environment and Social Movements 3. Strategies 4. Canadian Social Movements

3 1) Introduction – the Politics of Dissent: Concepts: “Social Movements”: Networks of groups seeking major social/political change Often act outside normal politics “Political Protest”: Political action that takes place outside of formal changes Normally seeking major change Two concepts invariably linked... though some social movements are “mainstream”.... “Contentious Politics”: Citizen based protest movements – organized against economic and political elites

4 Criteria of “Political Protest”/”Contentious Politics”? a) Actions outside formal channels = Both democracies/non-democracies may not be “open” to new demands Result: Challenge policy and process E.g. Canadian parties and youth turnout problem Studies show youth just not interest in formal politics – CPRN studyCPRN b) Members not normally important political actors “Marginalization”: Exclusion from “mainstream” or “centre” National/ethnic groups – minority language rights Groups outside of “social norms” – Gay & Lesbian groups and pride parades Regional producer groups – Farmers and Fishermen c) Pursue large changes in public policy – changes not easily accommodated by existing elites E.g. Opposition to the Vietnam War/The “Anti-Globalization” Movement/The “Occupy” protests.

5 2) Political Environment & Social Movem’ts: Social movements, political protest and contentious politics tend to escalate towards violence if state is unresponsive E.g. Breakdown in “ legitimacy ” “ Political Opportunity Structure (POS) ” : Openings that political institutions offer (or don ’ t offer) to protest movements E.g. Democratic governments Federalism Bill of Rights/Rule of Law POS is normally more closed in non-liberal democracies =More escalation  Terrorism and revolution

6 3) Strategies: a) Strategies in democracies Ordinary, legally sanctioned protests... “ Civil Disobedience ” : Deliberate lawbreaking that accepts punishment by the state E.g. US Civil Rights Protests (1960s) “ Segregation ” : Legal separation of blacks and whites in United States International or transnational social movements and political protest Cross border links among protest movements E.g. American Irish Associations E.g. “ Occupy ” Movements

7 B) Strategies in non-democracies POS less “permeable” E.g. Civil disobedience generates violent state repression “Political Violence”: Use of Physical force that has a political objective Chosen by protest movement, government or is an unintended consequence E.g. Escalation during protests  Kent State, 1967 Highest forms.... War! “Revolution”: Use of violence to overthrow a government Can result in major socioeconomic and political changes = “Social Revolution”

8 “Terrorism”: Deliberate use of violence to induce fear in population Often directed at the “innocent” E.g. Suicide bombings Intended to produce a negative reaction from state that weakens legitimacy of the regime.... Proponents think it is justified by nature of the opponents... Immoral, illegitimate regimes –“Disappearance”: The kidnapping by security officials of suspected dissidents – never heard from again Military preponderance – How do you fight the U.S. army? “Counter-Insurgency”: Military and political action of governments to defeat revolutions and terrorism Repression and reform (E.g. US Military in Iraq)

9 3) Canadian Social Movements: a) Quebec Nationalists: Emerged from “quiet revolution” – 1960s social changes: Decline of the church Rise of Quebecois nationalist identity “Secessionist”: Person who favors separation of territory from existing state Strategies?-Civil Disobedience -Political Violence -Normal protest & mainstream Politics Canadian “POS” is open – Nationalists gained control of Quebec government

10 b) Aboriginal rights: Marginalized... Strategies:-Civil Disobedience -Threat of Political Violence -Transnational Political Protest -Legal Challenges? Legal system open to pursuit of aboriginal rights E.g. Land Claims =Illustrates open POS? c) Others?-Agrarian protest -Fishermen’s Protective Union -Modern Environmental Movement

11 For next time: Unit Eight: Public Policy and Administration (November 10) Required Reading: Mintz, Chapter 16.

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