Bintu Zahara Sakor
Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
This book successfully manages to provide the most comprehensive introductory and critical analysis of social movements and collective action to date. Della Porta & Diani offer an overview of relevant theories and draw on a wide range of empirical research over several decades. Designed to address the key inquiries in social changes and movement studies, this fully revised and updated edition covers a broad range of approaches and expands on various themes including individual motivations, identity, and the effects of social movements. With its dynamic yet reader-friendly written style, each chapter addresses a single issue and offers a critical assessment of relevant debates. For example, in Chapter 2, the authors examine the significant transformation of the global political landscape with some of these changes leading to globalization. As they affirm, this in return has had significant implications for the emergence of recent global anti-austerity social movement activities. Later chapters in the book discuss factors ranging from the role of effective framing in facilitating action and mobilization (Chapter 3), to how identity construction helps activists overcome collective action barriers (Chapter 4), the bridge-building role played by individuals and networks in the collective action process with reference to recent global incidents of contention (Chapter 5), and the political opportunities for social movements (Chapter 8). With an engaging presentation of debates and literature from both political science and sociology, this book is highly relevant for all scholars keen to expand their in-depth knowledge of contemporary social movements.