Policing, Collective Action and Social Movement Theory: The Case of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Campaign
Queen's University Belfast - School of Law
University of Sydney
May 11, 2000
British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 51, No. 4, pp. 681-699, December 2000
In this paper we examine the relationship between social movements and the police through an analysis of the Civil Rights Movement (CRM) which emerged in the late 1960s in Northern Ireland. Following della Porta (1995) and Melucci (1996) we argue that the way in which episodes of collective action are policed can affect profoundly both levels of mobilization and the orientation of social movements. We also submit that the symbolic and representational dimensions of policing can be a significant trigger in the stimulation of identification processes and collective action. The paper concludes by questioning some of the assumptions contained within social movement theory, and their applicability to divided societies such as Northern Ireland.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: social movements, royal ulster constabulary, civil rights, Melucci
Date posted: May 13, 2011
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