Learning fromsocial movements Richard Smith Chief executive, UnitedHealth Europe Former editor, BMJPritpal S Tamber, Managing Director, Faculty of 1000 Medicine Rhona McDonald MD, senior editor at the Lancet
Agenda What is a social movement? Examples of social movements Some comments from studies of social movements—not too many Three stories of social movements − British movement to abolish slavery − A movement to counter football hooliganism among English football fans and create a positive culture among the fans—Pritpal S Tamber, managing director of Faculty of a Thousand Medicine − Make Poverty History—Rhona McDonald, senior editor on the Lancet What makes social movements work? Conclusions
What is a social movement? No universal agreement on a definition The latest Chambers doesnt have a definition Heres one from Wikipedia, which might itself be described as a social movement. “They are large informal groupings of individuals and/or organizations focused on specific political or social issues, in other words, on carrying out, resisting or undoing a social change.” How different from political parties or campaigns? − More informal than both − Unlike political parties but like campaigns, they are focused on specific issues but usually broader than a campaign Under this definition the quality in health care movement would qualify
What is a social movement? Charles Tilley (professor of social science at Columbia) defines a social movement as having three components 1. Campaign. A sustained, organised public effort making collective claims on target authorities 2. Repertoire. Using things like special purpose associations, public meetings, solemn processions, vigils, rallies, demonstrations, petitions, boycotts, statements to the media, pamphleteering, etc 3 WUNC (worthiness, unity, numbers, commitment) displays worthiness: sober demeanour, neat clothing, presence of clergy, dignitaries, and mothers with children unity: matching badges, headbands, banners or costumes, marching in ranks, singing and chanting numbers: headcounts, signatures on petitions, messages from constituents, filling streets commitment: braving bad weather, visible participation by the old and handicapped, resistance to repression, ostentatious sacrifice, subscription, benefaction Under this more operational definition would the quality in health care movement qualify?
Two ways to get historical analysis of social movements wrong—Charles Tilly 1. Search for general laws of how they work— failing to recognise the impossibility of devising general laws for human affairs 2. See social movements everywhere I may have made both mistakes—but I dont seem to be alone
Issues in studies of social movements It has become common to assume that social movements are crucial actors in social and political change. But few studies of effectiveness and how and why change is achieved “There is no way to trace outcomes of such complex social processes without having robust descriptions and explanations of their operations.” The problem of causality-- “Did the social movement make the change happen or would it have happened anyway” is huge and ultimately insoluble. “Looking for general causes and invariant models is doomed to failure, for there are no such invariant patterns in social life.” Giugni M, McAdam D, Tilly C, eds. How social movements matter. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Examples of social movements Abolition of slavery Civil rights movement Votes for women Environmental movement Peace movement Anti-apartheid Animal rights Temperance movement Anti-poverty Disability movement Gay rights
Examples of social movements within healthcare Public health movement Anti-smoking movement Against unethical research: ethics committees Evidence based medicine Open access publishing Keep our NHS public Fluoridation Antifluoridation Quality and safety movement
Abolitionism in Britain: the first social movement?• Used Adam Hochschilds book “Bury the chains.” A wonderful inspiringbook and a rip roaring yarn• 22 May 1787: 12 men met in a printing shop in 2 George Yard in the Cityof London determined to end slavery• At that time • more people were slaves than free • The British economy depended on slavery • Sugar, coffee, and rum, which people loved, depended on slavery • Many rich men and institutions, including the Church of England, owned plantations worked by slaves • Most members of parliament had close links to slavery• Yet by March 1807 slavetrading was abolished in the British Empire• Within a lifetime of when the men first met in 1787 slavery wasabolished across the world It cost the British 1.8% of the GDP over 50 years
Adam Hochschild “ The men who successfully abolished slaveryinvented many of the techniques we now associatewith campaigns: national organisations with localchapters, campaigns writing to politicalrepresentatives, report cards on how thoserepresentatives have voted, investigative reporting,petitions, marches, badges, boycotts, logos, fliers,books of evidence with readings in bookstores,newsletters, use of the media.”
Learning from abolitionism The result was “absolutely without precedent…If you pore over the history of all peoples, I doubt that you will find anything more extraordinary.” Alexis de Tocqueville The men “were deeply convinced that they lived in a remarkable time that would see… [slavery] swept from the face of the earth.” Adam Hochschild The campaign was “the first time a large number of people became outraged and stayed outraged for many years over somebody else’s rights.” Adam Hochschild “The abolitionists succeeded because they mastered one challenge that still faces anyone who… [wants to make major social change]: drawing connections between the near and the distant.” Their journey was full of “dashed hopes and wrong turnings.” Lesson: What seems impossible can be done—and in a comparatively short time Lesson: The leaders and the followers need deep belief Lesson: You need to make a connection between the issues and peoples everyday lives Lesson: The course is most unlikely to be smooth—and may well look hopeless at some point
Learning from abolitionism: a story of both remarkable men and the masses Remarkable man one: Olaudah Equiano “The stench of the hold while we were on the coast was so intolerably loathsome, that it was dangerous to remain there for any time, and some of us had been permitted to stay on the deck for the fresh air; but now that the whole ships cargo were confined together, it became absolutely pestilential. The closeness of the place, and the heat of the climate, added to the number in the ship, which was so crowded that each had scarcely room to turn himself, almost suffocated us. This produced copious perspirations, so that the air soon became unfit for respiration, from a variety of loathsome smells, and brought on a sickness among the slaves, of which many died, thus falling victims to the improvident avarice, as I may call it, of their purchasers. This wretched situation was again aggravated by the galling of the chains, now become insupportable; and the filth of the necessary tubs, into which the children often fell, and were almost suffocated. The shrieks of the women, and the groans of the dying, rendered the whole a scene of horror almost inconceivable.” Lesson: Powerful, first hand accounts of the problem are invaluable
Learning from abolitionism Remarkable men two: Granville Sharp Unworldy, musical, godly, well connected— including to the royal family 1765: Encountered slave being badly beaten Became the defender of blacks in Britain. Lesson: Well connected (and fearless) people are always useful
Learning from abolitionism 1783 Zong trial. Ship took too long to cross the Atlantic. Slaves dying, and dead slaves were worthless. 133 slaves thrown overboard in the hope of claiming insurance. Court case brought by insurers, who lost. Then Sharp brought a case for murder. Failed. Nobody cared about the slaves. Turner painted his picture in 1840 Lesson: Cases which shock and capture the problem and the publics attention may be crucially important—even if swept to one side by the authorities. (Think Bristol and Shipman)
Learning from abolitionism 1785. Bothered by the Zong trial, Dr Peter Peckard, vice chancellor of Cambridge University set a title for the annual Latin essay prize, which was very prestigious, of Anne liceat invitos in servitutem dare?—Is it lawful to make slaves of others against their will? Remarkable man threeL Thomas Clarkson entered the competition simply to win, but working “with the thoroughness and energy that would characterize his life,” he unexpectedly found himself overwhelmed with horror. “In the day time I was uneasy. In the night I had little rest. I sometimes never closed my eyes for grief.” He won the prize. Riding back to London he had a Damascene conversion. Someone had to do something —and he was that person. Coleridge called him “a moral steam engine.” The essay was published—by James Phillips, a quaker and the owner of the printing shop in George Yard. The essay was a mixture of philosophy, biblical quotations, and second hand accounts— poor evidence. Lesson: Prizes can be helpful Lesson: “A moral steam engine” is handy, especially an Anglican one
Learning from abolitionism The 12 members of the committee formed on 22 May 1787; − Granville Sharp, chair − Thomas Clarkson—secretary − One other Anglican − Nine quakers—including James Phillips (owner of the print shop), his brother, and William Dillwyn, an American Only three needed for a quorum—trusted each other Opened a bank account, hired a lawyer, and drew up long lists of names from all over Britain—worked the Quaker network The spirit of this most democratic and non-hierarchical of Western religions infused the movement---local chapters were often bolder than the national centre. They pushed the centre. Quakers knew about deputations (to government and the royal family), petitions, publishing pamphlets and placing articles in newspapers, and mobilizing the faithful “National, extra parliamentary associations were unknown in 1750, novel in 1780, and commonplace by 1830.” What should be their aim—stopping trading or emancipation For practical reasons, 11 of them—minus Sharp—went for banning trading. They knew that this would finish slaving in the end —because of high death rates Lesson: Trust is important Lesson: The non-hierarchical, Democratic spirit is probably helpful Lesson: Be businesslike Lesson: Pick an achievable aim
Learning from the abolitionists In June 1787 Clarkson prepared for a trip of several months to find witnesses, organize sympathizers, and gather more information—from the fountainhead, the slave ports of Bristol and Liverpool Clarkson worked 16 hours a day through that summer gathering detailed evidence and stories. “The very paper seemed to smoke and burn with his outrage.” He gathered data on 20 000 seamen, knowing what had happened to each. Slave ship doctors provided vital data. Clarkson began to be not just an organiser but also a performer, speaking regularly in public. He collected “props” for his performance—handcuffs, shackles, thumbscrews, and a speculum oris, which was used for prising open the mouths of slaves who tried to kill themselves by refusing to eat In the autumn he reached Manchester, a city that tripled in size in the last quarter of the 18th century and was home not only to the industrial revolution but also was abuzz with new ideas. The people of Manchester supported Clarkson and sent an anti-slavery petition to parliament signed by 10 000 people, one of every five people in the city Lesson: Evidence, lots of it, is important Lesson: Performance is important for success
Learning from the abolitionists Before starting on his journey Clarkson attended a London diner party that included James Boswell, Joshua Reynolds, and William Wilberforce—who was − “all soul and no body,” − an MP, − an evangelical Anglican, − independent, − wealthy, − a friend of William Pitt, the prime minister, − and had “the greatest natural eloquence in England.” He had an almost mesmerising speaking voice.He was also very funny—Madame de Stael described him as “the wittiest man in England.” He needed “an issue” on which to build his name. Clarkson’s essay was crucial in making him think about slavery At the end of the dinner after Clarkson had spoken on slavery—Wilberforce said he would take up the issue “provided no person more proper could be found.” Clarkson, the agitator, needed Wilberforce, the insider. The point of social movements is to get the legitimate to change their views. Lesson: Successful movements have different sorts of leaders, but they must work together Lesson: An important man who “needs an issue for his own advancement” can be very useful
Learning from the abolitionists First antislavery picture at the Royal Academy—“Execrable human traffic” by George Morland Children’s book “Little truths better than great fables” featured antislavery stories The committee knew that this was an international issue: published pamphlets in many languages, wrote to the kings of Sweden and Spain, sought supporters in other countries The committee was meticulously efficient—this was a social movement run by businessmen They produced a regular newsletter of 500 to a 1000 copies for supporters They raised funds, including through what may have been the world’s first direct mail fund raising letter Some 2000 people (mostly Quakers) from 39 countries contributed money Flair for publicity and marketing; Josiah Wedgewood produced the famous seal/logo “Am I not a man and a brother” The image, said Benjamin Franklin, was “equal to that of the best written pamphlet.” Appeared everywhere. Clarkson gave away 500. Manchester activists wrote to mayors throughout the country urging antislavery petitions, wrote as well to “respectable individuals,” and placed ads in newspapers throughout the country John Newton, a former slave trader become prominent Anglican minister (another brilliant alliance) turned passionately antislavery, published his pamphlet “Thoughts upon the African slave trade.” The pamphlet was sent to every MP. Lesson: Action must be constant and on many fronts
Learning from the abolitionists Parliamentary hearings “Committee on Trade and Plantations of the Privy Council” Chaired by Lord Hawkesbury, who owned land in the West Indies, and his chief clerk was the representative of the Bahamas planters Gathered lots of statistics Heard evidence—including how “nine out of 10 [slaves] rejoice at falling into our hands” Clarkson scoured the country for more witnesses The Plymouth committee found the famous picture of the Brookes, a slave ship showing how much room the slaves had Clarkson reworked the diagram but took great care not to exaggerate it Began appearing everywhere I newspapers, books, pamphlets; 7000 posters were printed and hung all around the country “Iconic images have power because they allow us to see what previously we could barely imagine.” Doctors gave especially powerful stories at the end of the hearing Lesson: Iconic pictures and strong human stories can be stunningly effective
Learning from the abolitionists Evidence from Dr James Arnold, a doctor on a slave ship “A woman was one day brought to us to be sold; she came with a child in her arms. The captain refused to purchase her on that account, not wishing to be plagued with a child on board; in consequence of that she was taken back to the shore. On the following morning, hoever, she was again brought to us, but without the child, and she was apparently in great sorrow. The black trader who brought her on board said that the child had been killed in the night to accommodate us in the sale.”
Learning from the abolitionists May 12 1789 Wilberforce spoke with notes in parliament for 3.5 hours. Burke said that the speech was “equal to anything...ever heard....in modern oratory; and perhaps...not excelled by anything to be met with in Demosthenes.” Arguably the greatest speech ever given in parliament. Extremely polite: “We ought all to plead guilty.” “When I consider the magnitude of the subject which I am to bring before the House—a subject, in which the interests, not of this country, nor of Europe alone, but of the whole world, and of posterity, are involved: and when I think, at the same time, on the weakness of the advocate who has undertaken this great cause—when these reflections press upon my mind, it is impossible for me not to feel both terrified and concerned at my own inadequacy to such a task.” “So much misery condensed in so little room, is more than the human imagination had ever before conceived. I will not accuse the Liverpool merchants: I will allow them, nay, I will believe them to be men of humanity; and I will therefore believe, if it were not for the enormous magnitude and extent of the evil which distracts their attention from individual cases, and makes them think generally, and therefore less feelingly on the subject, they would never have persisted in the trade. I verily believe therefore, if the wretchedness of any one of the many hundred Negroes stowed in each ship could be brought before their view, and remain within the sight of the African Merchant, that there is no one among them whose heart would bear it.” Outmaneuvered by slave interests. Privy council report not enough. House of Commons must have its own hearings. Lesson: There may be defining moments
Learning from the abolitionists House of Commons report: Ran to 850 pages So abolitionists started on a “feverish collective editing marathon” The result was the “Abstract of the Evidence delivered before a select committee of the House of Commons in the years 1790 and 1791, on the part of the petitioners for the abolition of the Slave Trade. 160 pages Became the most widely read piece of non-fiction antislavery literature of all time, a masterpiece of force and clarity—in modern typography (no ss that looked like fs) “simply cited in a crisp and businesslike way, statistics, documents, and sworn testimony by military officers, planters, sea captains, physicians, and businessmen “stood back and let the evidence speak for itself” One of the first great works of investigative journalism Lesson: Evidence must be substantial, strong, clear, and speak for itself
Learning from the abolitionists Sugar boycott now burst into life—despite Brits loving sugar, coffee, and rum, all of which depended on slavery; half a million people joined the boycott. Sugar laid bare “the dramatic, direct connection between connection between British daily life and that of slaves.” Southey called tea “the blood stained beverage.” First major boycott. Allowed people who had no vote to express themselves politically. Creation of Sierra Leone “province of freedom”--its “success would be a more powerful argument against slavery than any sermon or pamphlet”-- LIKE PloS Lesson: Boycotts can be powerful Lesson: Live the cause; create an example
Learning from the abolitionists Another vote in 1792 Every town had an abolition movement—sending petitions and contributions, receiving books and pamphlets Committees run by clergymen, shopkeepers, merchants, skilled workers, and professionals 59 antislavery petitions signed by 390 000 people received by parliament—signed by more people than could vote Four proslavery petitions Debate 2 April 1792—ran through the night Henry Dundas, home secretary,who said he was in favour of abolition (moment comes in a crusade when the opposition adopt the rhetoric of the campaigners—as with “open access”; proposed inserting the word “gradually” into the motion Timid HOC voted in favour of the motion including gradually. HOL talked out the bill, “Long, cold winter for abolitionists.” Lesson: There are likely to be times when everything looks hopeless Lesson: Beware of being tactically outwitted Lesson: Beware of opponents adopting your language, pulling the rug from under your feet
Learning from the abolitionists War with France declared 1 February 1793—“war is the enemy of social reform” 4 February 1794—France decreed that all slaves should be freed; never made it happen Brits invaded St Domingue, but slaves rebelled—very successfully Pushed abolitionists to one side, but lots of British soldiers were horrified by the first hand experience of slavery Dawn of 19th century—record year for slavery, 40 000 transported across the Atlantic by Brits Lesson: A major crisis may push your cause to one side (financial in the NHS) Lesson: Uncontrolled circumstances may work influence your cause in positive and negative
Learning from the abolitionists Abolitionists had lacked a first rate thinker and strategist James Stephen—lawyer, writer, behind-the-scenes adviser, conservative, but had a visceral hate for slavery after living in the West Indies for 10 years. It was the “central, driving passion of his life.” Searched for a tool that could work. Argued not for banning slavetrading but for a bill that banned British subjects from participating in the slavetrading of France and its allies. Slavetrading barely mentioned. Wilberforce didnt speak. Impossible to argue against-but (well understood by Stephen but unknown to most MPs) two thirds of the American slave ships were actually British. Split the salvetraders. Bill passed. Lesson: A strategist may well be vital for a movement Lesson: It may sometimes best to tackle problems obliquely rather than head on
Learning from the abolitionists Parliamentary elections in 1806—slavery a major issue 1807—bill debated. Military men in favour—they had seen the horrors of slavery first hand. Strong descriptions from an army doctor of atrocities he had seen. Sir John Doyle, an MP, spoke in the house of his experiences 25 March 1807 at noon—bill given royal assent This was not from government but “the sense of the people has pressed abolition on our rulers.” Edinburgh Review Lesson: First hand stories are important Lesson: It can be done—but most important problems are never solved completely
Learning from the ablitionists Younger groups wanted full emancipation and became inpatient with slow progress Split away from parent group, used paid and trained campaigners in a cascade 1833—three month debate, emancipaton bill passed both houses in summer of 1833—but £20m (now around £1,5 billion) paid in compensation to slaveowners; plus slaves became “apprentices” working without pay for another six years 1 August 1838—nearly 800 000 black men, women, and children became free Coffin inscribed “Colonial Slavery, died July 31st 1838, aged 276 years.” Coffin contained an iron punishment collar, a whip, and chains Of the 12 men who met in the printshop only Clarkson was alive Lesson: The young will take things forward—if they still care; social movements need succession plans
Hochschilds conclusion “To the British abolitionists, the challenge of ending slavery in a world that considered it fully normal was as daunting as it seems today when we consider challenging the entrenched wrongs of our own age: the vast gap between rich and poor nations, the relentless spread of nuclear weapons, the multiple assaults on the earth, air, and water that must support future generations, the habit of war. None of these problems will be solved overnight, or perhaps even in the 50 years it took to end British slavery. But they will not be solved at all unless people see them as both outrageous and solvable, just as slavery was felt to be by the 12 men who gathered in James Phillips printing shop in George Yard on May 22 1787.” But we must remember that there is still much slavery
Developing a positive culture for fans of the England football team Origins of the movement 1985 England banned from European football after trouble during a Liverpool Juventus match causes the death of 39, mostly Italians. English football=hooliganism 1989 Poor police control results in a crush at the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield. 96 people die.Terraces (people standing) banned in the top two divisions 1990 World Cup. England forced to play on an island. Lesson: A very real problem that is very high profile and so everybody—government, including the prime minister, the media, fans, and “the person in the street” is involved. The problem is that it leads to a feeling that “something must be done” even if that is the wrong thing. 1996 European championships in England.Papers warn of “blood in the streets.” Doesnt happen. 1997 Labour elected and creates Football task force. Mark Perryman (the leader of the movement that emerges) writes a paper arguing that the primary aim should be to develop “a positive fan culture.” Lesson: A leading thinker and organiser is important. 1997 Football Association (governing body) sets up consultative committees—but no clear agenda. Top down didnt work. Perryman and other give personal email addresses: messages and meetings begin to flow. An unsuccessful top down initiative became a lively bottom up movement. Lesson: A bottom up social movement can begin from from failed top down initiatives.
Developing a positive culture for fans of the England football team June 1998. Perryman and Hugh Tisdale want to give out coloured cards so that English fans can create a cross of St George—copying the Italians. FA says no. They do it anyway. Becomes standard at English home matches. All bottom up. Lesson: Symbols, particularly those that reach everybody, are important. 1998. World Cup in France. 40 000 fans. 400 riot. Press backlash. Government says “No ticket, dont travel.” Perryman says flies in the face of culture. Fans feel victimised and disempowered. Fans feel the game is being taken away from them because of high prices and corporate junkets. Late 90s. England makes a bid for World Cup 2006. So negative publicity must be avoided. Government and FA try charm offensive with “fan representatives.” Achieves nothing because fans feel disempowered. Euro 2000. Belgium and Netherlands. More trouble. Football (Disorder) Act 2000. Rushed through parliament. Attemps to exclude “hooligans” but excludes many core fans—young, working class males October 2000. Wembley closes. No home for fans. 90 000 fans reduced to 40 000. Observer gives evidence to government working party saying that watching an England France football match was “akin to watching a football match during a Nuremberg rally.”
Developing a positive culture for fans of the England football team Pre 2002 World Cup. Movement gets going. Lots of anxiety about what might happen in Japan/Korea, but fans continue to feel neglected, misunderstood, and misrepresented in the media. Fans set up forums on what awaits in the Far East. 500 fans attend Lesson: Increasing anxiety, particularly about future events, creates a climate for a movement to progress. World Cup 2002. Trouble free. Why? Partly fan movement. Fan forums. Fans took gifts. Fans create fan embassies. Lesson; Innovation in techniques and intervention is important. 2003. “Petty jealousies” within the group. Movements seen as too London centred. 2003. Fans make trip to South Africa. Organise match for local boys. Some play in a mixed race game for the first time. Fans forums continue—with police and senior FA officials joining. September 2003. Some violence an England Turkey game. FA bans fans from next two away games. Discussed at the forum. Fans are against the ban but understand why. First time FA and fans have shown mutual respect.
Developing a positive culture for fans of the England football team Euro 2004. Portugal. A watershed. British Ambassador in Lisbon asks for fan led events at every game. 1500 people attend. School visits as well. No trouble. Late 2005: FA asks fans to help plan for World Cup in 2006. A watershed. Germany 2006. No trouble. Wonderful atmosphere. Each game has a fan led event. Lesson: This is a movement that centres around having fun (going to football matches, travelling, and partying). The aim of reducing violence is a spin off. Lesson: Government or authority mandates are a poor way to change culture, although they have a role. People must be given the freedom to experiemnet and see if the like the new culture.
One year of “Make poverty history” “Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings” Nelson Mandela 30 000 people, most of whom are children, die every day from preventable diseases of poverty. Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) is a massive global coalition from more than 100 countries and is made up of a diverse range of community groups, coalitions, trade unions, organisations, individuals, faith groups and campaigners, who are all committed to the fight against poverty. In the UK branch is known as Make Poverty History. In the US, it is called One The Make Poverty History coalition consisted of over 400 charities. 14 charities were on the steering committee.
One year of “Make poverty history” GCAP chose 2005 as there were many key global events happening that year, such as a UN Summit focusing on the MDGs, and WTO trade talks. The UK’s involvement was particularly important because it was hosting the G8 summit (Gleneagles, Scotland), and the UK PM Tony Blair was president of the EU for the first part of that year. Three targets Aid − GCAP called for donors to immediately deliver at least $50 billion more in aid per year and set a binding timetable for spending 0.7% of national income on aid. Aid must also be made to work more effectively for poor people. Debt − GCAP called for the unpayable debts of the world’s poorest countries to be cancelled in full, by fair and transparent means. Trade − Action to ensure that governments, particularly in poor countries, can choose the best solutions to end poverty and protect the environment. − An end to the export and other subsidies that damage the livelihoods of poor rural communities around the world. − Laws that stop big business profiting at the expense of people and the environment.
One year of “Make poverty history” Whole year planned Feb- An address from Nelson Mandela in Trafalgar Square March- Launch of the “click as2 campaign—celebrities: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Kylie Minogue, Claudia Schiffer click their fingers to symbolise that one child dies from poverty every second) April- Global week of action on trade justice, culminating in an all night vigil at Westminster abbey followed by a march through Westminster July- white band day before G8 summit July- March around Edinburgh for Make Poverty History Edinburgh September- White band day before UN summit November -March at Westminster to draw attention to WTO talks December- White band day before WTO trade talks
Success? 20 000 people attended Nelson Mandela’s address 25 000 people participated in the all night trade vigil 250 000 people marched around Edinburgh GCAP members and supporters took more than 30 million actions around the world. G8 leaders − cancelled debt of 18 poorest countries (but in the end worth $2b a year when countries owe $300m) − Increased aid by $48b by 2012 (only $11b more than already committed) − No agreement on trade, no progress with Millennium Development Goals, WTO talks a flop − Many in the movement felt that the year was more of a failure than a success − Huge public support—but many were left at the end of the year feeling that the problem was solved
One year of “Make poverty history” Diversions and problems Tsunami London bombings Live 8 − Bob Geldof refused to announce plans − Wouldnt work with GCAP − Concerts about music not poverty, no money raised − Bob Geldof and Bono invited to Gleanagles not charity leaders Infighting among charities—Oxfam and Comic Relief dominated Other groups—antiglobalisation campaigners—hijack the message Too close to government, which manipulated the movement to its own ends Messages: “the ask” was simple, but the issues are complex. Many campaigners werent given good information and so were unable to answer difficult questions from the Mps and the press
LessonsPlan for the unexpectedPlan and prepare for events with great attention to detail, long in advance Don’t over simplify messages, or at least have some substantial and balancedinformation to back them upBe sustainable- make plans to keep your supporters’ interest and motivationMake sure you have a follow up plan/plansDo not spin the effectiveness of the movement, or results of the campaign If courting the media, be prepared for them to turn on you, therefore try to limitthe negative points they can pick up onTreat celebrities with careKeep all infighting private and of course, try and sort out internallyDon’t get too cosy with the government
Aside: environmental movement: success or failure? Success − Within two decades spectacular growth in organisations, activists, adherents, and sympathisers − Diversified in number of issues − Professional, lots of expert back up, journals − Truly international—within most countries and covering the globe − Huge success as an agenda setter—cannot be ignored by politicians − Many governmental agencies Failure − State of the environment has steadily worsened − Climate change accelerating − Flora and fauna disappearing − Pollution steadily worse
Debates within social movement studies Is more achieved by moderation or disruption, including violence? Many scholars have argued that “disruption is the most powerful resource that movements have at their disposal to reach their goals.” “It is likely that when regimes are vulnerable or receptive to challenges disruption works, whereas when they are not, disruption invites repression.” How much is success dependent on internal issues of the movement (organisation, size, leadership, etc) and how much external—the political environment? In the end both are important but will have different impact in different circumstances. What is agreed is that the consequence of social movements is often quite different from those that were intended Giugni M, McAdam D, Tilly C, eds. How social movements matter. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
What works: four critical factors: Political opportunity Organisational capacity Framing ability “Constancy of discontent” Doug McAdam, John McCarthy, and Mayer Zald in “Social movements,” a chapter in the Handbook of Sociology, edited by Neil Smelser
What works: favourable preconditionsProsperityPhysical concentration—cities, universities, hospitals Level of grassroots organisation—existing clubs, teams,etc Absence of cross cutting solidarities (“We aren’tinterested in quality in health care but in evidence basedmedicine”; “More specialisation will improve quality.”) Suddenly imposed grievances, dramatic spotlighting—Bristol, ShipmanSolidarity instead of free riding
What works: individual inducements Prior contact with a movement member Membership of many organisations Prior activism Emotional tension Moving music Availability
What works: mobilisation “The basic building block of social movements is the small informal group connected to aloose network.” “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret MeadFamiliar membersA cooptable communications network (internet)Capable leaders A mobilising frame: Erving Goffman introduced the idea of the frame as an interpretativescheme that people use to simplify and makes sense of some aspect of the world Frame alignment “Movement supporters attempt to recruit bystanders by providingexamples and rationales that support a mobilising frame and legitimise the movement.” Optimistic expectations: “The relentless enthusiasm of a good organiser will inspireenthusiasm and optimism in others, even in the worst circumstances”
What works: maintenance The need for social movement organisations (SMO) Each SMO must find a way to organise a flow of people and money to support the cause. Thosethat demand the least from members will be most successful in obtaining members and money. Radical flank effects: “the presence of extremist groups leads to greater support for moderategroups”: the provisional wing of the quality movement Government control through regulation, intimidation, and cooption. Modern states usually resistsocial movements Government facilitation Consciousness maintaining Ongoing frame alignment Frames from the news Resource maintenance Membership maintenance: “on the question of goals, research shows the wisdom of maintaining anarrow focus and a single goal.”
Conclusions Definitions of what constitutes a social movements differ—but they have become steadily more important There is no simple formula for how a social movement can succeed But there are lessons to be learnt Perhaps the two most important are, firstly,that there are likely to be times when prospects look hopeless and that it is possible for a few people to make changes that seem impossible remarkably quickly