The Politics of Transformation
Local Activism in the Peace and Environmental Movements
AUTHOR: Betty H. Zisk
PUBLISHER: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
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This book is a study of local grassroots activism in two major political areas, the peace and environmental movements, over a period of five years. Interviews with leaders of 166 different groups in five states (Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, California, and Oregon), supplemented by personal observation and participation in several of those groups are the foundations of this analysis. The major concerns are the components of group and movement successes, both short-run and long-run, and activist group adaptations to change in the larger social and political world in light of political upheaval in Eastern Europe, the Gulf War, and several environmental crises that occurred during the period in question. Finally, Zisk focuses on the growing convergence (and barriers to convergence) of the movements.
After examining short run accomplishments, Zisk concludes that most of the groups in both movements are faring poorly: few of their concrete goals are achieved, media attention is poor, and membership growth is problematic. For both movements, the transformational wings (those that press for basic changes, use consensus decision making, have few paid staff members) are not doing so well as the incremental wings (those seeking limited goals, using traditional decision techniques, employing larger staffs). This book should be of interest to students and teachers of political science and sociology.
PUBLICATION DATE: 10/30/1992
CATEGORY: Political Science, Self-Help