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Direct Action, Deliberation, and Diffusion
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What are the micro-level interactions and conversations that underlie successful and failed diffusion? By comparing the spread of direct action tactics from the 1999 Global Justice Movement protests against the World Trade Organization in Seattle to grassroots activists in Toronto and New York, Lesley Wood argues that dynamics of deliberation among local activists both aided and blocked diffusion. To analyze the localization of this cycle of protest, the research brings together rich ethnography, interviews, social network analysis and catalogs of protest events. The findings suggest that when diverse activists with different perspectives can discuss innovations in a reflexive, egalitarian manner, they are more likely to make strategic and meaningful choices.


'With Direct Action, Deliberation, and Diffusion, Lesley Wood has developed a detailed analysis of the way activists in New York City and Toronto interpreted and responded to Seattle. The monograph provides substantive insight into contemporary urban activism and theoretical insight into mechanisms that propel the diffusion of protest tactics … Wood’s most valuable insights, for this reader, arose when reflecting the many-faceted structure of diffusion as mechanism and outcome.'

David Strang Source: American Journal of Sociology

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