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The Marketing of Rebellion
Insurgents, Media, and International Activism


Award Winner

Part of Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics

  • Date Published: August 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521607865

£ 22.99

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About the Authors
  • 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'.

    • Challenges dominant views of NGOs as moral actors examining such groups as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and Amnesty International
    • Includes comparative case studies of Mexico's Zapatista rebellion and Nigeria's Ogoni ethnic movement, as well as brief discussion of movements in other locales
    • Develops a realistic, organizational perspective on local movements and NGOs
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    • Winner of 2007 Best Book Award, International Studies Association

    Reviews & endorsements

    '[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, 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, Review of International Organizations

    '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, Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics

    'An 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

    'This 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, Contemporary Sociology

    'Timely 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 and 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, Cambridge Review of International Affairs

    '[Using] intriguing case studies … The Marketing of Rebellion shows how we need to look below the surface when [we] hear about any new tensions that may arise in the world … [W]hether rebellions . . . will succeed or not often depends as much on how effectively the cause of the rebels can be marketed abroad as on the justice of that cause.' J. C. Winter, Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies

    '[Bob's] work challenges … liberal and constructivist international relations theorists who champion the NGO-led advocacy networks … It is, Bob argues, a jungle out there where solidarity is in short supply. Global civil society is thus more accurately viewed as a crowded, Darwinian terrain wherein needy groups must compete and differentiate themselves. . . . [Bob's] findings are sobering.' Ruth Reitan, Global Governance

    'One 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

    'One of the best recent books on culture and politics …' James Jasper, Sociological Forum

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2005
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521607865
    • length: 256 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • contains: 2 maps 2 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    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.

  • Author

    Clifford Bob, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh
    Clifford Bob is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Graduate School of Social and Public Policy at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA where he teaches courses on comparative politics, international law and organization, human rights, and ethnic conflict. He holds a PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Techology. His published work includes articles in Foreign Policy (cover article), Social Problems, International Politics (lead article), American Journal of International Law (co-author), Journal of Human Rights, PS: Politics & Political Science, and Social Policy. Dr Bob has won fellowships from the Smith Richardson Foundation (Junior Faculty Program in International Security/Foreign Policy), United States Institute of Peace, Social Science Research Council/American Council of Learned Societies, Albert Einstein Institution, Harvard-MIT MacArthur Transnational Security Program, and Duquesne University.


    • Winner of 2007 Best Book Award, International Studies Association
    • Scholarly Achievement Award, North Central Sociological Association
    • Winner of the Top Book Award by the Globalist

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