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The Marketing of Rebellion


  • 2 maps 2 tables
  • Page extent: 256 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.38 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521607865 | ISBN-10: 0521607868)

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$35.99 (P)

How do a few Third World political movements become global causes célèbres, while most remain isolated? This book rejects dominant views that needy groups readily gain help from selfless nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Instead, they face a Darwinian struggle for scarce resources where support goes to the savviest, not the neediest. Examining Mexico's Zapatista rebels and Nigeria's Ogoni ethnic group, the book draws critical conclusions about social movements, NGOs, and "global civil society."


1. Insurgent groups and the quest for overseas support; 2. Power, exchange, and marketing; 3. From ethnic to environmental conflict: Nigeria's Ogoni movement; 4. The making of an anti-globalization icon: Mexico's Zapatista uprising; 5. Transnational marketing and world politics.

Prize Winner

Winner, 2007 Best Book Award, International Studies Association

A Top Book of 2006, The Globalist

Winner, 2007 Scholarly Achievement Award, North Central Sociological Association


"In a fascinating and important study, Bob shows that the extent to which a Third World protest or secessionist movement gains attention and Western support is not determined as much by its intrinsic merits or even strategic value as by the calculated use of NGOs. This careful account challenges many of our accepted notions of international politics and global civil society." Robert Jervis, Columbia University

"Clifford Bob cuts through a great deal of sentimental cant about global civil society. Even humanitarian NGOs, he demonstrates, must engage in a kind of commerce to stay in business. The Marketing of Rebellion offers a sober, well-documented analysis of this important trend in world politics. It is a model of what patient scholarship can achieve." Jeremy Rabkin, Cornell University

"[Clifford Bob] does an excellent job of showing the complexities involved in gaining international support for social movements in the developing world... This is an important book for its theoretical insights and use of case study methodology. Highly Recommended." Choice

"This book is well researched and enthusiastically argued. The Marketing of Rebellion is interesting, provocative, and well realized."
Ann Marie Clark, Mobilization

"[A] novel and very insightful perspective... Bob makes an important contribution to several literatures, including contentious politics, civil war, and globalization, as well as ethnic conflict and its international relations. The Marketing of Rebellion is quite useful for both undergraduate and graduate courses in comparative politics and international relations."
Stephen M. Saideman, McGill University, Perspectives on Politics

"In this extremely thoughtful and elegantly written book, Clifford Bob takes issue with this view of global civil society. Where others see all harmony and goodness, Bob sees Darwinian struggle, discord, and good old-fashioned politics. Bob is absolutely right that there is a morality market animating global civil society. In this thoughtful, well-researched, and accessible book, Bob establishes himself as our best guide for understanding it."
Paul Wapner, American University, Review of International Organizations

"Rarely does a book answer a question which is at once novel, interesting and important. . . . Bob's account . . . is erudite and plausible."
Pierre L. Van Den Berghe, University of Washington, Nations and Nationalism

"A fine contribution to the growing literature on the dynamics of global information flows, The Marketing of Rebellion clarifies how media-savvy movements can shape the political agenda of the emerging 'global civil society."
Scott L. Althaus, University of Illinois, Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics

"[A]n insightful and thought provoking contribution [on] domestic and international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) and social movements. . . . His study shows us how self-interest, altruism, and sympathy intersect in global civil society . . . lay[ing] a strong foundation for policy-oriented research on the relationship between INGOs and local challengers. Both scholars and practitioners interested in the different dimensions of social movements will benefit from the theoretical and empirical insights provided in this book."
International Studies Review

"[T]his is a provocative book, one that challenges a number of evolving theoretical expectations about non-state actors, global civil society, and transnational relations in the post-Cold War era."
Jeffrey Ayres, Saint Michael's College, Contemporary Sociology

"[T]imely and refreshing . . . I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would recommend it very highly not only to academics in political science and sociology and communications, but also to social marketing professionals and public policy advocates who will find the ideas presented to be very thought provoking."
Abhijit Roy, Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary & Nonprofit Organizations

"In The Marketing of Rebellion, Clifford Bob turns a world upside down. . . . The Marketing of Rebellion is a wonderful, rich and incisive study of . . . Southern social movements and the way in which they capture global attention. . . . Bob provides a service by helping future movements both understand the motivations in the North and weigh the costs and benefits of participating in the market."
Lisa Jordan, Ford Foundation, Cambridge Review of International Affairs

"[O]ne academic book. . . that could be unhesitatingly recommended to a local activist searching for transnational allies. . . [P]rovides an excellent method of analysis. . . [and] a harsh but not unrealistic picture of [global civil society]."
Tomás Mac Sheoin, Global Social Policy

"I highly recommend [it] for students of global studies, international and comparative politics, and especially social movement scholars interested in the transnational dimensions of popular struggles in the global South. The study offers a major contribution to our understanding of the conditions leading to the emergence of broad transnational linkages between poor challengers and better-off advocates in the age of globalization."
Paul Almeida, American Journal of Sociology

"[O]ne of the best recent books on culture and politics . . . "
James Jasper, Sociological Forum

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