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Heaney and Rojas on Partisanship and the Anti-War Movement

Abstract: American social movements are often bitterly divided about whether their objectives are achieved better by working with one of the major political parties or by operating independently. These divisions are consequential for how social movements and political parties respond to one another. First, differing partisan attitudes shape the structure of activist networks, leading activists to join organizations with others who share their party loyalties or disloyalties. Second, partisan attitudes affect how activists participate in the movement, with strong partisans more likely to embrace institutional tactics, such as lobbying. Third, partisanship affects activists’ access to the institutions of government, such as Congress. Relying on surveys of antiwar activists attending large-scale public demonstrations in 2004 and 2005 and a Capitol Hill Lobby Day in September 2005, the authors argue that some activists integrate into
major party networks through the “party in the street,” an arena of significant party-movement interaction.

Michael T. Heaney and Fabio Rojas (2007), “Partisans, Nonpartisans, and the Antiwar Movement in the United States,” American Politics Research 35:431-464. Available here.

Via orgtheory.net.

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