New Publication: Activists Forever? Long-Term Impacts of Political Activism


Olivier Fillieule, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland

Erik Neveu, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Rennes, France


Activists Forever? explores the consequences of political involvement on an individual’s life. While much of the research in this area has focused on the motivations of entire protests groups, the editors of this volume propose an approach that focuses on actors. This book examines political involvement’s socio-biographical effects, or the ways in which political commitment generates or modifies dispositions to act, think, and perceive, in a way that is either consistent with or in contrast to the results of previous socialization. The contents explore what political involvement leads to rather than what causes involvement. Using a variety of case studies, this collection of essays provides global coverage with a focus on participation in major protests in the 1960s and significantly broadens our understanding by looking outside the United States. These essays look at the lasting effects of activists’ knowledge, connections, and symbolic capital on their future participation in politics, as well as their personal and professional lives.


Introduction: Activists’ trajectories in space and time

Part I. From Shades of Red (or Blue) to Shades of Grey: The Ageing of Yesterday’s Activists:

1. The diversity of activist outcomes: the role of ideology in shaping trajectories of participation; 2. Biographical impacts of activism in the French ‘May ’68’; 3. Life stories of former French activists of ‘May ’68’: using biographies to investigate the outcomes of social movements; 4. Women in political activism: the biographical resonances of the ’68 student movement in a Latin American context;

Part II. Terrorist Violence, State Repression and Activists’ Experiences

5. ‘Join up’, they said!The biographical consequences of engagement in Morocco for the 1970s generation and its children; 6. From militancy to activism: life trajectories of Sikh women combatants; 7. ‘Married forever’, activists forever? What the multi-level and interactionist approaches to the study of ‘exit’ reveals about disengagement from radical organizations in contemporary Turkey; 8. Contextualizing the biographical outcomes of provisional IRA former activists: a structure-agency dynamic

Part III. Biographical Trajectories in Times of Transition. Social Movement Activists into Politicians?

9. When prophecy succeeds: the political failure of dissidents in the new Czech democracy; 10. From grassroots activism to the cabinet, round-trip: the puzzling trajectory of a peasant leader in Post-Communist Poland; 11. Red t-shirt or executive suit? About some biographical consequences of contentious engagement in the workers’ party in Recife, Brazil;

Addendum: life history as a tool for sociological inquiry; References; Index.


For more information, and to order, visit: and enter the code FILLIEULE2019 at the checkout in order to obtain a 20% discount (valid till Nov 15 2019)


December 2018

228 x 152 mm c.360pp 4 b/w illus.

Hardback 978-1-108-42872-9

Mobilization: Special Issue on Nonviolence and Social Movements

Below are the contents of the latest issue of Mobilization: the December special issue on nonviolence and social movements, Sharon Erickson Nepstad, guest editor.

To submit a paper, European authors should send their blinded manuscript along with a separate cover page with author contact details to Marco Giugni

You can read more about Mobilization here
Volume 20, No. 4 December 2015


Sharon Erickson Nepstad:
Studies of nonviolence give insights to issues that are central to the study of contentious politics. In democracies, most protest movements take nonviolent tactics for granted. In nondemocracies, nonviolent resistance is an effective strategy to challenge the state. Nepstad’s article traces the development of nonviolence research and its often-regretful separation from social movement research. Her thoughtful review of the main findings of nonviolence research, especially regarding the strategy-outcomes relationship, makes this article essential reading.

Erica Chenoweth and Kurt Schock;
It is common that antiregime resistance movements have violent radical flanks. This important contribution analyzes the effects of armed wings on nonviolent movements using a data on 106 antiregime campaigns. Significantly, it finds that radical flanks reduce the chances of movement success. The authors then closely analyze two paired comparisons: Burma and Philippines, and early and late antiapartheid mobilizations in South Africa. Fine-grained comparisons show complex causal paths, but conclude that violent flanks rarely determine movement success.

George Lawson:
Lawson analyzes the Arab Spring protest wave, finding that “timing is everything” when outcomes are considered within the broad protest cycle. His comparisons further situate movements in their global context by showing that international dynamics were the precipitant causes. As the wave developed, movement organization and use of communication technologies mobilized participants, but also elite control of security forces—the “deep state”—and its learning curve of effective repressive responses proved to be a counterweight for later movements.

Peter B. White, Dragana Vidovic, Belén González, Kristian Skrede Gleditsch,
and David E. Cunningham:
Impressive in the scope of its comparisons, this article analyzes opposition movements in the national republics of the former USSR. The authors suggest that tactical choices are taken as activists articulate initial antiregime claims in the context of their available resources. They find that violent tactics are associated with structural dimensions of resource availability, such as economic development, urbanization, and state capacity. Nonviolent tactics are more likely in urbanized developed states, which have better prospects for mass mobilization and poor prospects for covert action.

Kurt Schock:
In another comparative study, Schock compares the Brazilian MST with the Indian Ekta Parishad movement to show how activists draw upon constitutional principles and laws to pursue civil resistance. This strategy parallels O’Brien’s concept of rightful resistance, except that these movements occur in democracies not authoritarian China. The “radical” elements of this strategy, as indicated in the title, reflect adaptations to entrenched power structures in Brazil and India. Actual tactics vary by culture, geography, and demography in each country.

Sean Chabot and Stellan Vinthagen:
Chabot and Vinthagen argue that civil resistance research often ignores struggles seeking to subvert the liberal world system—as opposed to joining it. They examine two classic decolonizing thinkers (Gandhi and Fanon) and two contemporary decolonizing struggles (the Zapatistas in Mexico and the Abahlali in South Africa). Each case emphasizes coloniality, constructive over contentious resistance, transformations in political subjectivity, and emancipatory visions that go beyond Western ideals.

Brian Martin:
This article is a study in the sociology of knowledge that explains why nonviolence research receives less scholarly attention and financial support compared to military research and studies of conventional politics. Martin explores misconceptions about nonviolence research, why so much of it is oriented to challenging regimes, and its connection to nonviolent practice. He concludes by emphasizing the value of studying agency and strategy, and of the insights gained by being involved in the movements being studied.

New publication ‘The Fight for Ethical Fashion’


The Fight for Ethical Fashion. The Origins and Interactions of the Clean Clothes Campaign

Philip Balsiger, European University Institute, Italy

Series : The Mobilization Series on Social Movements, Protest, and Culture

From consumer boycotts and buycotts to social movement campaigns, examples of individual and collective actors forging political struggles on markets are manifold. The clothing market has been a privileged site for such contention, with global clothing brands and retailers being targets of consumer mobilization for the past 20 years. Labels and product lines now attest for the ethical quality of clothes, which has, in turn, given rise to ethical fashion.

The Fight for Ethical Fashion unveils the actors and processes that have driven this market transformation through a detailed study of the Europe-wide coordinated campaign on workers’ rights in the global textile industry – the Clean Clothes Campaign

Drawing on insights from qualitative fieldwork using a wide range of empirical sources, Philip Balsiger traces the emergence of this campaign back to the rise of ‘consumer campaigns’ and shows how tactics were adapted to market contexts in order to have retailers adopt and monitor codes of conduct. By comparing the interactions between campaigners and their corporate targets in Switzerland and France (two countries with a very different history of consumer mobilization for political issues), this ground-breaking book also reveals how one campaign can provoke contrasting reactions and forms of market change.

Contents: Preface; Introduction: contentious markets; The rise of consumer campaigns; Launching a campaign; Building a campaign; Campaign styles and protest in the market place; Campaigning over time; Strategic interactions and campaign outcomes; Conclusion: contention, consumers, and corporations; References; Index.

ASA Award for David Swartz’s ‘Symbolic Power, Politics, and Intellectuals: The Political Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu’

Professor David Swartz’s Symbolic Power, Politics, and Intellectuals: The Political Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu is the co-winner of the American Sociological Association’s 2014 History of Sociology Section Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award. This award “honors sociologists who have made significant contributions to the history of sociology by writing books or articles on the ‘cutting edge’ of sociological inquiry.” In his notice of the award, Chair Elect of the History of Sociology Section Neil Gross quoted the award committee in describing Symbolic Power as showing ”clearly how much Bourdieu has ‘to give to a sociology of politics and a political sociology’–and how central politics was in Bourdieu’s intellectual biography.”

New publication « Voices of Globalization »

Barbara Wejnert (Ed.), Voices of Globalization, Emerald Group Publishing, 2013

Vol. 21 of the Research in Political Sociology series


This volume addresses issues of modern globalized development posing a question whether it symbolizes progress or regress for world’s societies. Papers focus on economic and political issues experienced by countries at this time of rapid diffusion of democracy and of the global market economy. A range of pertinent political issues are discussed, such as international migration, environmental protection and green energy, human rights, tolerance and equality, and economic justice. The concluding chapter provides a summary of presented topics in form of a discussion forum on outcomes of global development.

New book: Symbolic Power, Politics, and Intellectuals: The Political Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu

symbolic power Swartz

Symbolic Power, Politics, and Intellectuals: The Political Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu, by David L. Swartz. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2013

Power is the central organizing principle of all social life, from culture and education to stratification and taste. And there is no more prominent name in the analysis of power than that of noted sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. Throughout his career, Bourdieu challenged the commonly held view that symbolic power—the power to dominate—is solely symbolic. He emphasized that symbolic power helps create and maintain social hierarchies, which form the very bedrock of political life. By the time of his death in 2002, Bourdieu had become a leading public intellectual, and his argument about the more subtle and influential ways that cultural resources and symbolic categories prevail in power arrangements and practices had gained broad recognition.

In Symbolic Power, Politics, and Intellectuals, David L. Swartz delves deeply into Bourdieu’s work to show how central—but often overlooked—power and politics are to an understanding of sociology. Arguing that power and politics stand at the core of Bourdieu’s sociology, Swartz illuminates Bourdieu’s political project for the social sciences, as well as Bourdieu’s own political activism, explaining how sociology is not just science but also a crucial form of political engagement.

For more information please visit

New publication: Bourdieu in International Relations

Bourdieu in International Relations. Rethinking Key Concepts in IR

Bourdieu IREdited by Rebecca Adler-Nissen, Routledge, 2012

This book rethinks the key concepts of International Relations by drawing on the work of Pierre Bourdieu.

The last few years have seen a genuine wave of publications promoting sociology in international relations. Scholars have suggested that Bourdieu’s vocabulary can be applied to study security, diplomacy, migration and global environmental politics. Yet we still lack a systematic and accessible analysis of what Bourdieu-inspired IR might look like. This book provides the answer. It offers an introduction to Bourdieu’s thinking to a wider IR audience, challenges key assumptions, which currently structure IR scholarship – and provides an original, theoretical restatement of some of the core concepts in the field. The book brings together a select group of leading IR scholars who draw on both theoretical and empirical insights from Bourdieu. Each chapter covers one central concept in IR: Methodology, Knowledge, Power, Strategy, Security, Culture, Gender, Norms, Sovereignty and Integration. The chapters demonstrate how these concepts can be reinterpreted and used in new ways when exposed to Bourdieusian logic.

New publication: A Political Sociology of Transnational Europe

A Political Sociology of Transnational Europe

polssocecprbookEdited by Niilo Kauppi, ECPR Press, 2013

This volume presents cutting-edge, theoretically ambitious studies in political sociology by first-rate European scholars that deal with some of the major challenges European societies and politics are facing. These have to do with globalisation and complex Europeanisation, which have contributed to restructuring the European nation-state and redefining political power.

Accounting for these transformations requires revisiting traditional objects of political science such as state sovereignty, civil society and citizenship. While doing this, the studies of this volume join sophisticated empirical analyses with methodological and conceptual innovations such as field theory, multiple correspondence analysis and the study of space sets. Combining qualitative and quantitative research techniques and macro- and micro-levels, they have in common a contextual analysis of politics through scrutiny of configurations of groups, representations and perceptions in an increasingly transnational space. A transnational perspective that seeks to avoid methodological nationalism is present in all the studies of this volume.

New publication: Transnational Power Elites

Transnational Power Elites. The new professionals of governance, law and security.

transnationalpowerelitesEdited by Niilo Kauppi and Mikael Rask Madsen, Routledge, 2013

This book argues that European Union institutional mechanics and the EU as a political unit cannot be properly understood without taking into account the elites that make the policy decisions.

Spurred by globalisation, technological and economic development has provided the backbone for social and political transformations that have changed the social structures that unite and differentiate individuals and groups in Europe and their interface with extra-European actors. These developments are not only exemplified by the rise of the EU, but also by the rise of a set of transnational European power elites evolving in and around the European construction.

This book maps out these EU and international interdependencies and provides a comprehensive picture of the European transnational power elites. Moving away from the majority of literature on European integration dominated by economics, law, IR and political science, the volume is written from a sociological perspective that takes into account the individuals that make the policy decisions, the formal and informal groups in which s/he is included, as well as the social conventions that regulate political and administrative activities in the EU.