Direct Action, Deliberation, and Diffusion

Direct Action, Deliberation, and Diffusion : Collective Action after the WTO Protests in Seattle

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What are the micro-level interactions and conversations that underlie successful and failed diffusion? By comparing the spread of direct action tactics from the 1999 Global Justice Movement protests against the World Trade Organization in Seattle to grassroots activists in Toronto and New York, Lesley Wood argues that dynamics of deliberation among local activists both aided and blocked diffusion. To analyze the localization of this cycle of protest, the research brings together rich ethnography, interviews, social network analysis and catalogs of protest events. The findings suggest that when diverse activists with different perspectives can discuss innovations in a reflexive, egalitarian manner, they are more likely to make strategic and meaningful choices.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 3 b/w illus. 3 tables
  • 1139369237
  • 9781139369237

Table of contents

1. Introduction; 2. The Seattle cycle: 1998-2002; 3. The Seattle tactics; 4. The organizations most likely to adopt; 5. Regimes on repertoires: nation-states, cities, and networks; 6. Opinion leaders: local anti-globalization coalitions; 7. Talking 'bout a revolution; 8. Talking about smashing; 9. Not like us: debates about identity; 10. The cops and the courts: the effect of repression; 11. After 9/11: the effect of repression; 12. Conclusion.
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Review quote

'With Direct Action, Deliberation, and Diffusion, Lesley Wood has developed a detailed analysis of the way activists in New York City and Toronto interpreted and responded to Seattle. The monograph provides substantive insight into contemporary urban activism and theoretical insight into mechanisms that propel the diffusion of protest tactics ... Wood's most valuable insights, for this reader, arose when reflecting the many-faceted structure of diffusion as mechanism and outcome.' David Strang, American Journal of Sociology
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About Lesley J. Wood

Lesley Wood is Associate Professor of Sociology at York University in Toronto, Canada. She researches how social movements and state responses to those movements are changing in the current globalizing moment. She has published on this question in journals including Mobilization, Qualitative Sociology, the Journal of World Systems Research and Upping the Anti. She has authored or co-authored book chapters on the control and surveillance of protest, summit protests, transnational social movement networks and coalition formation, the World Social Forum, deliberation and nineteenth-century British social movements. She is the co-author of the second and third editions of the late Charles Tilly's book, Social Movements, 1768-2008/2012. She is a regional editor for the international, peer-reviewed, online journal Interface, a journal for and about social movements.
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