The Human Rights of Good Environmental Governance

From Democracy to Civil Society

Lecture 3

Social Movements

"the form in which new combinations of people inject themselves into politics and challenge dominant ideas and a given constellation of power" (Timothy Doyle and Doug Mc Eachern)


According to collective action theory social movements come about because of changes in:


1) basic conditions of life to produce discontent

2) changes in beliefs and values

3) changes in the capacity to act collectively

4) changes in opportunity for successful action


This is based on the assumption of an individual that responds rationally to rapid social changes


Old versus new social movements



Some characteristics of "new social movements"


General explanations for origins of NSMs

On the origin of "green" movements:

"There is no unifying teleological purpose that drives them. There is no single causal reality that made them. Interpretations of the origins and significance of environmental movements are as contested as the movements themselves"

The "psalimpsest" structure of NSMs

Five levels:

Structure of social movement

Views on NGOs

Pluralist view of NGOs as interest and pressure groups:

Postmodern view of NGOs:

Typology of NGOs

See Milton Esman

Add: Geopolitical origins (according to Doyle and McEachern)

Structure, politics and activities of NGOs

The "Eternal Dilemma" of the triangular relation: Nation-State, NGO and Business Community


Pluralism versus Post-Modernism


Cooptation versus Radicalism and Independency


Participatory democratic structure

Corporate structure (the "exception"?)