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Cover Comparative Politics

16. Social Movements  

Dieter Rucht

This chapter presents the major theories and approaches in social movement research, highlighting four constitutive elements. Next, in a more descriptive approach, it outlines some general patterns and profiles of contemporary social movements, stressing the need to interpret social movements in relation to their key reference groups of which, besides movements’ opponents, allies, third parties, and bystanders play a crucial role. Another section is devoted to comparative aspects and findings in social movement studies, including the more recent trend towards the transnationalization of some movements. Finally, a typology of the basic functions and effects of social movements is presented. The general theme is that the structural context, the shared perceptions and experiences, as well as the dynamic interactions between social movements and their reference groups are crucial for a better understanding of the functions and effects of social movements as potential creators of social change.

Chapter

Cover I-PEEL: The International Political Economy of Everyday Life

5. Care  

This chapter assesses feminist international political economy (IPE) insights about care. It begins by discussing military spouses and the vital everyday role that their care labour plays in sustaining the military as an institution. The chapter then looks at three interrelated debates that show the importance of care in everyday IPE: feminist work on social reproduction; the extent to which care can be commodified; and the heteronormative assumptions that underpin understandings of care. It also examines three crucial areas of feminist work on care that have informed IPE scholarship. These are the ‘care crisis’, how this crisis is experienced in everyday life as a form of depletion, and the transnationalization of commodified care labour in global care chains. Finally, the chapter reflects on how care can be measured through time use surveys and how policymakers have responded to the concerns raised by feminists about the significance of unpaid caring labour.

Chapter

Cover Comparative Politics

16. Social movements  

Dieter Rucht

This chapter presents the major theories and approaches in social movement research, highlighting four constitutive elements. Next, in a more descriptive approach, it outlines some general patterns and profiles of contemporary social movements, stressing the need to interpret social movements in relation to their key reference groups of which, besides movements’ opponents, allies, third parties, and bystanders play a crucial role. Another section is devoted to comparative aspects and findings in social movement studies, including the more recent trend towards the transnationalization of some movements. Finally, a typology of the basic functions and effects of social movements is presented. The general theme is that the structural context, the shared perceptions, and experiences, as well as the dynamic interactions between social movements and their reference groups are crucial for a better understanding of the functions and effects of social movements as potential creators of social change.