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International Experiences of Activism
International experiences of activism
The Role of Social Movements

A social movement can be defined as a sustained and organised public effort targeting authorities that can use both conventional and unconventional strategies to achieve its goals (Tilly, 2004). Criteria to assess whether a social mobilisation meets the requirements to be called a ‘movement’ have been developed and include:

  • the presence of articulated grievances;
  • policy goals;
  • access to human and financial resources;
  • sustained activities to meet these goals;
  • leadership;
  • participants with a shared worldview and identity. (Freudenberg et al., 2011)

Some of these criteria can also be applied to pressure and advocacy groups. What makes a social movement different is its ability to go beyond the influence of its participant and resource base, to maintain an ideology irrespective of membership, function ...

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