2nd Edition

Social Movements and Protest Politics

By Greg Martin Copyright 2024
    452 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    452 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This fully revised and updated edition of Social Movements and Protest Politics provides interdisciplinary perspectives on the sociology of protest movements. It considers major theories and concepts, which are presented in a clear, accessible, and engaging format. The second edition contains new chapters on methods and ethics of social movement research, and legal mobilisation, protest policing and criminal justice activism, including calls to abolish or defund police made at protests during the COVID-19 pandemic. This edition introduces readers to the concept of the ‘post-protest society’ wherein the right to protest is whittled away to near vanishing point, and authorities have considerable legal recourse to ban protests and render the tactics of protest movements ineffective. The book also looks at recent developments and novel social movements, including Black Lives Matter, Extinction Rebellion, Gilets Jaunes, #MeToo, and Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement, as well as the rise of contemporary forms of populism in democratic societies.

    The book presents specific chapters outlining the early origins of social movement studies and more recent theoretical and conceptual developments. It considers key ideas from resource mobilisation theory, the political process model, and new social movement approaches. It provides extensive commentary on the role of culture in social protest (including visual images, emotions, storytelling, music, and sport), religious movements, geography and struggles over space, media and movements, and global activism. Historical and contemporary case studies and examples from a variety of countries are provided throughout, including the American civil rights movement, Greenpeace, Pussy Riot, Indigenous peoples’ movements, liberation theology, Indignados, Occupy, Tea Party, and Arab Spring. Each chapter also contains illustrations and boxed case studies to demonstrate the issues under discussion.

    Social Movements and Protest Politics will be an indispensable resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students in the social sciences and humanities wanting to be introduced to or extend their knowledge of the field. The book will also prove useful to university teachers and academic researchers, activists, and practitioners interested in the study of social, cultural, and political protest.

    List of figures

    List of boxes


    1 Introduction

    2 Social movement research methods

    3 Origins of social movement studies

    4 Political opportunity, resource mobilisation, and social movement organisation

    5 Social movements, old and new

    6 Protest and culture

    7 Religious movements and social movements

    8 Struggles over space

    9 Media and movements

    10 Legal mobilisation, protest policing, and criminal justice activism

    11 Global activism

    12 Conclusion



    Greg Martin teaches criminology at Murdoch University, Perth, Australia. He has published widely in criminology, law, and sociology. He is the author of Crime, Media and Culture (Routledge, 2019), and a co-editor of Secrecy, Law and Society (Routledge, 2015) and The Emerald International Handbook of Activist Criminology. He is the founding co-editor of the book series Emerald Studies in Activist Criminology, an associate editor of Crime Media Culture, and a member of the editorial boards of Social Movement Studies and The Sociological Review.

    "What a difference a decade can make! The first edition of this wonderful introduction to social-movement theory appeared before Trump was elected. The new edition therefore includes more on the resurgence of rightwing and hate groups, on Black Lives Matter, and the increasing intensity of online politics and surveillance. It gives a fair hearing to a range of theories: an excellent text for courses and the general reader." 
    James M. Jasper, author of  The Art of Moral Protest Culture, Biography, and Creativity in Social Movements (1997)

    "Greg Martin’s text provides thorough historical overview of both the development of social movements and the growth of ways to make sense of them.  Social Movements and Protest Politics is global in approach, theoretically engaged, and filled with vivid illustrations of key ideas. A valuable introduction, it is an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to understand and maybe influence the development of contemporary social movement politics."
    David S. Meyer, Professor of Sociology, Political Science and Planning, Policy, and Design, University of California, Irvine, USA

    "This comprehensive and compelling new edition forces reconsideration of the meaning and efficacy of protest in an era of populism and technological change, while providing critical new insights on the power and limits of law as a tool of social movements. It is essential reading for social movement scholars and activists, raising challenging questions about the potential for radical change in contemporary society while providing rich examples of strategic social movement adaption providing optimism that a better world is possible."
    Scott L. Cummings, Robert Henigson Professor of Legal Ethics, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

    "Social movements are a social phenomenon that reveals much about society at large and the evolution in their study constitutes a central part of the history of sociology, with many different approaches trying to provide alternative explanations. In this book, Greg Martin acts as an expert guide through the complex field of social movement studies, reconstructing how sociologists have tried to make sense of them from the 19th century to contemporary internet-based activism. Research methods for social movement analysis, the difference between old and new movements, and alternative approaches, such as the study of collective identity, resource mobilization and political opportunities, are all covered in this very comprehensive yet concise volume. This volume is strongly advised to both students and researchers who are fairly new to the field and more advanced scholars who want a systematic review of central questions in the field."
    Paolo Gerbaudo, Senior Research Fellow in Social Science, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain