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Globalizing Resistance: The Battle of Seattle and the Future of Social Movements

Smith, Jackie (2001) Globalizing Resistance: The Battle of Seattle and the Future of Social Movements. Mobilization, 6 (1). 1 - 20.

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The massive popular protests that disrupted the Third Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization in November 1999 resulted from broad changes in global social and political relations that have accelerated in recent decades. Moreover, many of the groups involved in this protest event had been involved in previous struggles for global economic justice, and these past struggles contributed to the transnational identities and strategies that emerged in Seattle. This study examines the political context of the “Battle of Seattle,” identifying the participants and activities that characterized the struggle. It explores the transnational linkages among activists, suggesting that a division of labor emerged in Seattle whereby groups with more local and national ties took on mobilization roles while groups with more routinized transnational ties served the role of providing information and frames for the struggle. An examination of the tactics used in Seattle suggests that, to a large extent, national protest “repertoires” have been adapted for use in global political arenas. However, there is some evidence of innovation in traditional protest forms in response to global political integration and technological innovations. While the study encompasses only a single protest event, the patterns it identifies suggest that globalization and the growing prevalence of transnational protest has had enduring impacts on the organization and character of social movements.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Smith, Jackiejgsmith@pitt.eduJGSMITH0000-0002-4808-0391
Date: 2001
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: Mobilization
Volume: 6
Number: 1
Page Range: 1 - 20
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Refereed: Yes
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2016 19:12
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2019 14:55


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