Presenting a fresh alternative to traditional state-centered analyses of the process of European integration, Governance in the European Union clearly shows the interaction of subnational, national, and supranational actors in the emerging European polity. This “multilevel politics” approach offers a powerful lens for viewing the future course of European integration. The authors' empirical exploration of areas such as regional governance, social policy, and social movements underpins their broad conceptual and theoretical framework, providing significant new insight into European politics. Governance in the European Union will appeal to students and academics across the broad spectrum of political science, and will be of particular interest to those in European studies, public policy studies, comparative politics, and political theory.
Chapter 5: Social Movements and the Changing Structure of Political Opportunity in the European Union
Social Movements and the Changing Structure of Political Opportunity in the European Union
To an observer of the contemporary world it might seem obvious that social movements and revolutions are, first and foremost, political phenomena.99 In light of the momentous changes wrought by the Eastern European revolutions of 1988–9 and the myriad nationalist movements currently operating throughout the former Warsaw Pact countries, it would seem the height of folly to deny political status and significance to social movements and revolutions. And yet, barely twenty-five years ago, the prevailing academic view did just that. Reflecting the conceptual dominance of the collective behaviour perspective, social movements were seen as, at best, a form ...