Activism (Public Administration)

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  • An organized attempt to foster political or social change. This is usually in response to certain institutional policies that are viewed as morally or politically restrictive. Activism can take myriad different forms, including (but not exclusively) marches, letter-writing campaigns, civil disobedience, boycotts, or even physical attacks on perceived oppressors. Activists need not necessarily demand a direct change in law, but they can advocate more profound shifts in cultural behavior (such as animal rights vegetarians or gay acceptance movements). While the 1960s were undoubtedly considered the “hey-day” of Western activism, social protests remain prevalent throughout world affairs. Perhaps most interesting is activism's inherent subjectivity; people (even of the same culture) may bicker over whether someone is an activist or a criminal (“one man's terrorist is ...

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