Taking part: social movements, INGOs and global change

Catherine Eschle, Neil Stammers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
137 Downloads (Pure)


Can social movements make a difference in global politics? That question is, ultimately, one that only the historical practice of transnational social movements will answer. But is that answer likely to be heard or understood by analysts, even if it were to ring in the air around them? We think not, unless there is a fundamental shift in the way the transformative agency of social movements is conceptualized. In this article we try to substantiate this claim through a critique of existing approaches to the study of transnational social movements. We argue that the attention given to transnational social movements across several different academic disciplines has failed to generate the intellectual and disciplinary synthesis needed to understand their potential. On the contrary, the limitations of each discipline have simply been replicated by others, leaving the field cluttered with incommensurable or overlapping analyses, concepts, and jargon.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-372
Number of pages40
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004


  • globalisation
  • global politics
  • transnational social movements


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