GLOBAL CIVIL SOCIETY MOVEMENTS:
Dynamics in International Campaigns and National Implementation

The study entails a qualitative research approach. A multiplicity of data sources and procedures for gathering information is utilized. Primary sources of information are movement participants themselves who are actively engaged in identifying, interpreting, and analyzing research data. Thus, a particular challenge for this research is that of identifying various categories of movement participants. Formal organizations constitute an important part of social movements; they perform crucial networking and mobilizing functions and act as instruments for continuity of movement action and visibility. However, they are not to be conflated with social movements themselves. While a broad structure of the project and specific research methods are herein discussed, researchers adopt a flexible, open-ended, field-grounded approach to the investigation.

  • Emergence. Following the constructionist approach, each case study narrates the emergence of each movement and describes the movement's collective identity based on the accounts of movement participants. It discusses the profile of the members and their interest in the groups. An analysis of relevant documents complements these narratives.
  • Development. Proceeding from the examination of discourses, each study looks into how these are translated into: (1) actual campaign strategies and specific policy proposals or advocacy agenda; (2) organizational values and practices, especially in identifying and relating with the movement's participants and its targets; (3) links with counterparts in the North, and (4) a vision of an alternative society. Discourses are analyzed in terms of the fusion of local and transnational issues (e.g., globalization as context and content, state as adversary and arena, and civil society as target and constituency).
  • Outcome. Each case study examines the outcome of the movement in terms of actual policy changes and organizational gains. Content analysis of documents and key informant interviews are conducted to trace the causes of any shift in state policies.

The results of each case study are presented to key movement participants as part of the validation process.

(Photo credit: Global Network-Asia, http://www.globalnetwork-asia.org)


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