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Party in the Street
The Antiwar Movement and the Democratic Party after 9/11

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Part of Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics

  • Date Published: February 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107448803

$ 32.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Party in the Street explores the interaction between political parties and social movements in the United States. Examining the collapse of the post-9/11 antiwar movement against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this book focuses on activism and protest in the United States. It argues that the electoral success of the Democratic Party and President Barack Obama, as well as antipathy toward President George W. Bush, played a greater role in this collapse than did changes in foreign policy. It shows that how people identify with social movements and political parties matters a great deal, and it considers the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street as comparison cases.

    • Synthesizes sociological and political science approaches to studying social movements and political parties to develop a new concept, 'the party in the street'
    • Based on more than 10 years of fieldwork in the antiwar movement and the Democratic Party and more than 10,000 surveys/interviews with political activists
    • Utilizes a wide variety of quantitative and qualitative analytic methods, including surveys, interviews, ethnography, regression analysis, network analysis, and content analysis
    Read more


    • Co-Winner, 2016 Leon Epstein Outstanding Book Award, Political Organizations and Parties Section, American Political Science Association

    Reviews & endorsements

    "Party in the Street shows how the antiwar movement stalled once it helped elect a president who seemed to agree with its goals - even as wars continued. This engaging and provocative book highlights an essential dilemma for activists in America: whether to work within mainstream politics or take the struggle outdoors. It is essential reading for anyone concerned with the fate of the peace movement or the rise and decline of social movements more generally."
    David S. Meyer, University of California, Irvine

    "Heaney and Rojas gathered data from tens of thousands of participants in anti-war protests in a massive empirical undertaking developing new methods of survey analysis and force us to reconceive the linkages between political parties and social movements. Who uses whom? Who needs the other more? What happens to a social movement when party activists attempt to use the movement for their own purposes? These are of course old questions in the study of social movements, but no scholars until now have explained so clearly the dangerous but inevitable linkages between party and movement activists. Party in the Street moves us forward methodologically, substantively, theoretically and empirically, and will interest those concerned with political parties, elections, social movements, and the struggle to end the War in Iraq. A tour de force."
    Frank R. Baumgartner, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

    "Heaney and Rojas have written a masterful work on the fraught relationship between political parties and social movements. In a theoretically innovative and empirically rich account, they show how individuals' partisan loyalties "aggregate up", sometimes fueling collective action for policy change - and sometimes dooming it."
    Kristin A. Goss, Duke University, North Carolina

    "The blockbuster finding in Party in the Street is its careful documentation of the role of political partisanship in first filling the ranks of the anti-war movement in the early 2000s, then emptying it out again after partisan control of the presidency shifted in 2009. More broadly, the book provides a theoretically and empirically rich account of the interplay of movement mobilization and partisan political mobilization."
    Pamela Oliver, University of Wisconsin, Madison

    "The sheer volume of hypotheses tested and the many methods used to address Party in the Street’s research questions are impressive. Heaney and Rojas expertly utilize interviews, participant observations, media and organizational materials, and surveys that allowed network and regression analyses to make the case that while people care about issues and their identification with social movements matter, so do their connections to traditional politics."
    Lisa Leitz, Mobilization

    "Heaney and Rojas have done an incalculable service to our understanding of the relationship between parties and movements."
    American Journal of Sociology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107448803
    • length: 325 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 155 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • contains: 29 b/w illus. 15 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The party in the street and its historical context
    2. Partisan politics at the water's edge?
    3. Multiple identities and party-movement interaction
    4. Identities and grassroots participation
    5. Identities and organizational action
    6. Identities and legislative agendas
    7. Beyond the antiwar movement and the Democratic Party
    8. Social movements in a polarized America

  • Authors

    Michael T. Heaney, University of Glasgow
    Michael T. Heaney is Assistant Professor of Organizational Studies and Political Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has previously served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Study of American Politics at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies, Yale University, and as the William A. Steiger Fellow in the Congressional Fellowship Program at the American Political Science Association. His research has received funding from the National Science Foundation and has been published in a wide array of academic journals, such as the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Sociology, Social Networks, and Perspectives on Politics.

    Fabio Rojas, Indiana University, Bloomington
    Fabio Rojas is Associate Professor of Sociology at Indiana University Bloomington. He previously served as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan. Rojas's research has been published in a wide array of academic journals, such as the American Journal of Sociology, the Academy of Management Journal, Social Forces, and the Journal of Black Studies. His first book, From Black Power to Black Studies: How a Radical Social Movement Became an Academic Discipline, was published in 2007. He blogs regularly at


    • Co-Winner, 2016 Leon Epstein Outstanding Book Award, Political Organizations and Parties Section, American Political Science Association
    • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2015
    • A Choice Top 25 Book of 2015

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