Comparing Social Movement Participation in Western Europe and the United States: Problems, Uses, and a Proposal for Synthesis

August 1986 (VOL. 4, NO. 2)

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This paper considers some reasons why there have been few comparisons between European and American social movements. It then considers some of the advantages from a comparative approach, offers examples in which comparative research can help to improve analysis and interpretation, and outlines some problems faced by students of comparative social movements. It then proposes a synthesis of the American "resource mobilization" and European "new social movements" traditions.