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Social Movements and NetworksRelational Approaches to Collective Action$
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Mario Diani and Doug McAdam

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199251780

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199251789.001.0001

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Movement in Context: Thick Networks and Japanese Environmental Protest

Movement in Context: Thick Networks and Japanese Environmental Protest

(p.204) 9 Movement in Context: Thick Networks and Japanese Environmental Protest
Social Movements and Networks

Jeffrey Broadbent

Oxford University Press

Presents a case for a network version of the concept of political opportunity structure, focusing on environmental movement activity in eight communities in Japan. Embeddedness in specific networks shapes political action much more strongly in densely knit societies like Japan than in Western, individualistic societies; in Japan, networks operate mostly in terms of block recruitment rather than individual recruitment, and this holds for both movements and local elites. In particular, vertical ties between elites and citizen strongly shape local political opportunities: it is the presence of ‘breakaway bosses’ (i.e. local leaders who take the protesters’ side) to prove the strongest predictor of success for collective action. The chapter also presents a distinctive theoretical framework, Integrative Structurational Analysis, to link structure and agency.

Keywords:   agency, block recruitment, collective action, environmental movement, Japan, local elites, political opportunity structure, social movements, structure

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