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Meeting Democracy
Power and Deliberation in Global Justice Movements


Donatella della Porta, Dieter Rucht, Christoph Haug, Simon Teune, Clare Saunders, Christopher Rootes, Massimiliano Andretta, Marco Giugni, Alessandro Nai
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  • Date Published: January 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107484269


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About the Authors
  • The concepts of power and democracy have been extensively studied at the global, national and local levels and within institutions including states, international organizations and political parties. However, the interplay of those concepts within social movements is given far less attention. Studies have so far mainly focused on their protest activities rather than the internal practices of deliberation and democratic decision-making. Meeting Democracy presents empirical research that examines in detail how power is distributed and how consensus is reached in twelve global justice movement organizations, with detailed observations of how they operate in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. Written by leading political scientists and sociologists, this work contributes significantly to the wider literature on power and deliberative democracy within political science and sociology.

    • Develops original empirical indicators to judge successful deliberative democracy
    • Uncovers how social movement organizations address internal conflict
    • Uses an innovative implementation of the ethnographic method, which will be of use for those interested in multi-sited and comparative ethnography
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'With but a few notable exceptions, scholarship on social movements reflects an outsider's perspective. But in this exceptional collection, the contributors take us inside global justice groups to describe and analyze the movements' unique brand of participatory democracy. The result is as rich an empirical portrait of the internal dynamics of a movement as has been produced to date.' Doug McAdam, Stanford University

    'In this truly ambitious project, the authors set out to provide an inside look at decision making in the global justice movement - using fine-grained discourse analysis and participant observation of countless meetings in twelve organizations in six countries. The result is not only a fascinating picture of what movement democracy looks like today, but also new insight into enduring questions about the conditions for equality in talk, the role of emotions in strategic decision making, and the possibilities of deliberative democracy in the here and now. A signal achievement.' Francesca Polletta, University of California, Irvine

    'Revelatory. We really have learned something since the sixties. With incisive descriptions, interviews, and unsentimental analysis, this book takes you into GJM meetings, through controversy and concord, to demonstrate in concrete detail not only how hot-headed, dismissive and unconsciously exclusionary, but also - and more dominantly - how inclusive, mutually respectful, and deliberatory these new institutions and activists can be.' Jane Mansbridge, Harvard University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107484269
    • length: 288 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus. 26 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Power and democracy in social movements: an introduction Donatella della Porta and Dieter Rucht
    2. A methodology for studying democracy and power in group meetings Christoph Haug, Dieter Rucht and Simon Teune
    3. Types and patterns of intragroup controversies Dieter Rucht
    4. Patterns of participation Clare Saunders and Christopher Rootes
    5. Power and arguments in global justice movement settings Massimiliano Andretta
    6. Emotions in movement Donatella della Porta and Marco Giugni
    7. Quality of deliberation: a multilevel analysis Marco Giugni and Alessandro Nai
    8. Structurelessness: an evil or an asset? A case study Christoph Haug and Dieter Rucht
    9. Power and democracy: concluding remarks Donatella della Porta and Dieter Rucht

  • Editors

    Donatella della Porta, European University Institute, Florence
    Donatella Della Porta is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute. Her main fields of research are social movements, the policing of public order, participatory democracy and political corruption. Her previous publications include Approaches and Methodologies in the Social Sciences (2008).

    Dieter Rucht, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung
    Dieter Rucht is a Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the Free University of Berlin. Until 2011 he was co-chair of the research group 'Civil Society, Citizenship and Political Mobilization in Europe' at the Social Science Centre (WZB), Berlin. His main fields of research are social movements and political protest, political participation, sociology of the public sphere and the sociology of conflict.


    Donatella della Porta, Dieter Rucht, Christoph Haug, Simon Teune, Clare Saunders, Christopher Rootes, Massimiliano Andretta, Marco Giugni, Alessandro Nai

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