The Politics of Protest
Social Movements in America
David S. Meyer
The Politics of Protest offers both a historical overview and an analytical framework for understanding social movements and political protest in American politics. Meyer shows that protest movements, an integral part of our nation's history from the Boston Tea Party to the Civil Rights Movement, are hardly confined to the distant past. He argues that protest movements in America reflect and influence mainstream politics and that in order to understand our political system--and our social and political world--we need to pay attention to protest.
The Politics of Protest opens with a short history of social movements in the United States, beginning with the development of the American Republic and outlining how the American constitutional design invites protest movements to offer continual challenges. It then discusses the social impulse to protest, considers the strategies and tactics of social movements, looks at the institutional response to protest, and finally examines the policy ramifications. Each chapter includes a brief narrative of a key movement that illustrates the topic covered in that chapter.