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This is the Web site and document archive for the social-movements mailing list. To subscribe to this list, email listserv@listserv.heanet.ie with the following message body:

subscribe social-movements

To unsubscribe from this list, email listserv@listserv.heanet.ie with the following message body:

signoff social-movements

Do not include a subject line or signature file in the email in either case.

You can also join the list via the Web at http://listserv.heanet.ie/social-movements.html.

social-movements list charter version 2.1

Web site (from November 2000): http://www.iol.ie/~mazzoldi/toolsforchange/sm.html

Last updated: November 10th, 2000

This charter defines the nature and purposes of the social-movements mailing list. It includes basic technical information for using the list, information on participation, and sources of further information or alternative resources. It isn't written in stone, but is open to modification at any time in accordance with the decisions and needs of listmembers.

It is hoped eventually to develop an FAQ (a list of frequently-asked questions and collected responses) to orient new listmembers and those in search of basic information. Anyone interested in helping with this project is warmly invited to contact the listowner at !


  1. What is the social-movements mailing list?
  2. How to send and receive messages from the list
  3. Subjects covered by the list
  4. Reviews, reports and nominations
  5. Ground-rules for discussion
  6. Decision-making and moderation
  7. Links to alternative resources
  8. Archive information
  9. Technical problems
  10. References
  11. Thanks

1 What is the social-movements mailing list?

The social-movements mailing list is an interactive, moderated, international forum for discussion and information about social movements (collective action, popular protest, counter-cultures) etc. from either academic or activist standpoints, oriented towards a general ("theoretical") understanding likely to be of interest to those studying or working in other movements and in other places.

One definition of such movements is Mario Diani's:

"A social movement is a network of informal interactions between a plurality of individuals, groups and / or organisations, engaged in a political or cultural conflict, on the basis of a shared collective identity." (Diani 1992: 13)

Such movements are often considered to include among others

Theoretical approaches to these movements include academic theories such as resource mobilisation theory and theories of new social movements; they also include theories developed from within these movements such as Marxism and feminism. The aim of the list is to develop a discussion between and across the enormous variety of contemporary perspectives on such movements in a spirit of mutual solidarity and criticism.

Along with discussion on the subject of understanding social movements, the list also welcomes information on resources of general interest, whether these be announcements of new publications, archives, journals, conferences or similar. An important focus for both discussion and information is around new work in the area, including reviews of new publications, reports on conferences and congresses, nominations of articles for discussion and other approaches.

Membership of the list fluctuates at around 200 members from at least 4 continents. Traffic is normally relatively low, in the range 0 - 5 messages per day depending on time of year and issues of interest.

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2 How to send and receive messages from the list

To subscribe to this list, email listserv@listserv.heanet.ie with the message

subscribe social-movements

To unsubscribe from this list, email listserv@listserv.heanet.ie with the message

signoff social-movements

In all cases, there should be neither a subject heading nor a signature file (the latter is often automatically generated, and you will then have to switch it off in your mailer.)

You can also join the list via the Web at http://listserv.heanet.ie/social-movements.html.

Once you are subscribed, you can send messages to the list by addressing them to social-movements@listserv.heanet.ie. They are then sent to all list members; you will in turn get messages sent to the list by other members.


The two email addresses - the technical address and the address for messages to other listmembers - are not identical. Messages sent to one address intended for the other will produce only frustration on your part and annoyance on other people's!

WWW interface

You can now post to the list, join or leave the list, manage your own list options settings and search the list archives through the WWW interface at http://listserv.heanet.ie/social-movements.html. To use this page, you will need (if you are not already a user of the HEAnet listserv program) to create a password for yourself - please make a note of this somewhere!

Other available commands include:

Digest and index modes

A range of new options are available for list users with the move to our new server: you can choose whether you want to receive each message individually as normal, one of 3 different kinds of digest or 2 different kinds of index. (The digest and index functions are particularly useful for people who are members of multiple lists and want to be able to scan what is going on rapidly.)

You can also choose what you want to appear in the headers for messages from the list (so you can scan your inbox rapidly and / or apply filters to sort list messages into special folders etc.), and decide whether you want copies of your own messages to the list.

To set a simple digest mode, send an email to listserv@listserv.heanet.ie with the following message:

set social-movements digest

To return to individual messages, send an email to listserv@listserv.heanet.ie with the following message:

set social-movements nodigest

Again, neither subject line nor signature file should be included.

Once again, these options can also be managed from the Web page at http://listserv.heanet.ie/social-movements.html.

For further options see the Listserv manuals at http://www.lsoft.com/manuals/index.html or the Web page at http://listserv.heanet.ie/social-movements.html.

Nomail mode

Suspends delivery to you of messages from the list, which can then be resumed at a later date without having to subscribe and unsubscribe. This can be useful if e.g. you're going on holiday, working on a book or running out of server space!

To set nomail mode, send a message to listserv@listserv.heanet.ie with the following message:

set social-movements nomail

To resume mail, send a message to listserv@listserv.heanet.ie with the following message:

set social-movements mail

These options can also be managed from the Web page at http://listserv.heanet.ie/social-movements.html.

In case of technical problems please contact the listowner at .

List access

The list is defined as a public list (anyone can join, but listowners can ban members for persistent breaches of Netiquette etc.) Only listmembers may post to the list. Only listowners can access the full list of members. The list is not flagged in Listserv's list of lists, but is publicised in relevant fora. Archives on HEAnet are available to listmembers only.

Most of these provisions are important for minimising spam (junk mail), and in some cases for providing some limited protection for members. Listmembers should however be aware that material posted on the list is not entirely secure.

Although the message sent to new members includes a ferocious warning about the confidentiality of the list, this comes automatically with the decision not to publicise the group on the Listserv homepage, to minimise the risk of spam. Listmembers are free (indeed, encouraged!) to mention the existence of the group in relevant fora used by social movements academics and practitioners.

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3 Subjects covered by the list

In principle, the list is open for discussion of any subjects related to the understanding of social movements. This falls essentially into three categories:

(a) academic theories of, and theoretically relevant research on, social movement activity, whether conceptualised as such or under another heading such as popular protest, collective action, counter-cultures or similar. Please note the point about theoretically relevant research; research which is carried out within, and essentially confirms, already existing approaches to social movements is unlikely to be of particular interest to other listmembers.

(b) political theories developed within or around social movements, if they relate to understanding those movements and not just the analysis of social structure, discussion of contemporary political issues and so on. The point of this restriction is that better fora for the discussion of e.g. general feminist theory or environmental issues are already available, and such discussions are again unlikely to be of interest to other listmembers.

(c) announcements of information resources (new publications, journals, Internet resources, archives etc.) and discussion fora (conferences and congresses). The only proviso again is that these announcements are focussed on matters directly relevant to the list and are at least potentially of international interest. Thus, to give examples, announcement of the annual Manchester conference on "alternative futures and popular protest" is of potential interest; announcement of a departmental seminar to be held in Maynooth is presumably not. Similarly, announcements of the EZLN-sponsored global "encounters" between different social movements are of potential interest; announcements of a demonstration to be held in New York are not.

The essential reason for the restrictions on these areas is twofold. Positively, it's to encourage discussion between different points of view and experience of different movements. Negatively, listmembers are asked to remember that other members, like themselves, are likely to be overloaded activists or academics (or both), with limited time to dedicate to reading messages which would be more appropriate on more specialised fora. Please remember also that this is an international list.

These rules, however, are not written in stone; if participants wish to redefine the areas they consider to be of interest, they're free to.

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4 Reviews, reports and nominations

In the interests of keeping up to date with new work in the area, and of providing a focus for discussions, participants are invited to post reviews of new publications, reports on congresses, etc., and to nominate electronically-available articles for discussion. These are archived on the Web site. Each of these three areas is discussed below.

There are a number of reviews editors, each responsible for a particular language or country. Listmembers who have recently published books or articles are warmly invited to send copies to the relevant reviews editor; likewise, members who are interested in writing reviews should contact the appropriate editor. The list of editors given below is not exhaustive: if other participants are interested in acting as reviews editors for other languages or countries, they should contact . The reviews editors are (in alphabetical order):

Sebastian Haunss: German


Schulterblatt 35
20357 Hamburg

Ian Maxey: English / UK publishers


Dept. of Geography
University of Wales, Swansea
Singleton Park
Swansea SA2 8PP

01792 295228 ext. 4146

Prof. Bronislaw Miztal: English / US publishers, Spanish and Portuguese, Slavonic languages


Department of Sociology
Catholic University of America
Washington DC 20064, USA

(Tel.) 202-319-5903
(Fax.) 202-319-4630

Jean-Yves Pidoux: French


Universit de Lausanne
Facult des Sciences Sociales et Politiques
Institut de Sociologie des Communications de Masse
CH - 1015 Lausanne

Tel. (41 21) 692 32 16
Fax. (41 21) 692 32 15

Any listmembers who've attended particular events - congresses, conferences, gatherings, etc. - that might be of interest to listmembers are warmly encouraged to report on them to the list.

In the interests of encouraging debate, participants might like to consider nominating particular articles for discussion on the list, either particularly interesting work by other people, or work in progress of their own. These articles would obviously have to be electronically available in some form, presumably on a WWW or FTP site, or made available with their author's consent in email or hardcopy forms to interested parties (please don't send files with 200k attachments to the whole list!) This is an experimental part of the list; anyone interested in taking responsibility for stimulating this process as a nominations editor is warmly invited to contact the listowner at .

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5 Ground-rules for discussion

This list is something of an online conference or workshop, with all that implies in the way of mutual criticism (identification and working through of intellectual and political differences) and solidarity (commitment to shared scientific or practical projects). Participants are therefore encouraged to treat one another as they would treat colleagues with other theoretical perspectives, or respected opponents within one's own movement.

Negatively, this means that (1) personal attacks and insults are frowned upon, as are (2) forms of "hate speech" such as racist, sexist or homophobic language, and (3) forms of online abuse such as sexual harassment, threats, commercial advertising (except of publications and events covered by the charter) and so on. Persistent breach of the first rule, as well as any breach of the second or third rule, will result in intervention by the moderator and if necessary in exclusion from the list.

Using the list for research purposes is acceptable, but not indiscriminately. Surveys etc. should either be cleared with the listowner, or discussed on the list, prior to being sent. Requests for discussion or contacts on sensitive or potentially incriminating topics (e.g. violent groups, personal participation in illegal activity etc.) are not generally appropriate; this can however be discussed on the list or with the listowner.

More technical problems include attached files (which should not be sent to the list), overly long signature files, replies to earlier messages which quote more of the message than is needed for the discussion (a classic case is quoting all of a three-page email and adding "me too" or something similar....) Here the general rule applies that it's not acceptable to drown other people in reams of unsolicited and probably unwanted material. Offenders are likely to get sufficiently bad feedback from other listmembers to mend their ways in this respect!

The usual language for the list is likely to be English, but discussion in any language for which participants can be found is acceptable! Users are asked to include an abbreviation for the language in the subject field of such messages, as in <IT: L'ultimo libro del Melucci> or <DE: Abbonemente zum FJ neue soziale Bewegungen?>

Beyond these points, the list is also covered by the HEAnet acceptable usage policy, which can be found on the Web at http://www.heanet.ie/noc/lsv/aup.html.

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6 Decision-making and moderation

The list depends to a large extent on the interest and involvement of listmembers. There are a number of editorial positions, which means people who've taken it upon themselves to help stimulate the flow of discussion and information on the list in different ways. These positions include the various reviews editors (see 4). Other positions for which volunteers would be more than welcome include:

The list is ultimately in the hands of those who participate in it. Listmembers are entitled to propose any area of the charter or of moderation practice (the rules and their implementation) for discussion and decision by the list. Messages bearing on such discussion should include the code DM (decision-making) as part of the subject line, as in <DM: Are political parties a valid topic?> or <DM: Policy on hate speech>. This enables those listmembers who do not wish to engage in such discussions to ignore them. Such discussions should, however, result in a final proposal to all listmembers (ie without a DM flag); this can be proposed as an alteration or addition to be decided on by a yes / no vote, as a series of multiple alternatives, or in any other form the list deems acceptable.

In a less formal way, the moderator will in the normal course of things take account of the expressed views of participants in any form, whether private or public, and will endeavour as far as possible to act in accordance with such views.

The list is moderated by Laurence Cox (). The moderator's job is to implement the policy agreed on by the list. In the normal course of affairs this consists in occasionally sending warnings to posters who are felt to step over the lines laid down in the charter (as modified by participants), and in extreme cases suspending or expelling participants who regularly ignore such warnings or who commit acts of serious abuse. Listmembers are invited to comment privately or publicly on the actions of the moderator, as well as drawing their attention to what participants feel to be in need of moderation.

It is hoped over time to find subsidiary moderators, in the form of regular participants who have the confidence of the list, to take over in case of illness or absence.

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7 Further information / alternative resources

(a) Offline resources.


These pages include an extensive bibliography of material on social movements, including special sections on German social movements research, research on the German Autonomen and links for activists. Because of its ever-increasing length, this is no longer included in the welcome message. Further contributions on areas not already covered are extremely welcome; please email .

Periodicals and journals:
(i) Mobilization: an international journal

- Semiannual review of research and theory specialising in social and political movements, protest, and other forms of collective action such as strikes, insurrections, and revolutions. Mobilization's purpose is to provide an international forum for the interchange of different research strategies and theoretical / conceptual approaches in order to encourage cumulative social science.

Two-year subscription (4 issues) costs US$38.50: Visa, MasterCard, check or money order in US dollars to Mobilization, Dept. of Sociology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182-4423 USA (credit card orders can also be faxed to 619 673 8402 or emailed to Hank.Johnston@sdsu.edu; be sure to include your name as it appears on the card, card number, expiration date, mailing address, and amount).

(ii) (DE) Forschungsjournal neue soziale Bewegungen

- Quarterly German periodical on new social movements, developed by engaged researchers, mostly from positions close to the Greens or the left wing of the SPD. Thematic issues based on workshops; important sections of reviews, work in progress and announcements. Abstracts in English are included.

Annual subscription DM 62 within Germany. Contact Westdeutscher Verlag GmbH, Postfach 58 29, D-65048 Wiesbaden. Tel. (0 52 41) 80 19 67.

(iii) (EN) Research on social movements, conflict and change

- Annual peer-reviewed journal, in existence for over 20 years.

(b) Online resources:

WWW-sites and FTP locations:

Pride of place goes to our "sister" Website:

(i) Shifting Ground: new interactive website about social and cultural movements

"Shifting Ground is a new discussion and resource space, where academics and activists interested in new social and cultural movements can communicate with one another, debate about ideas and find relevant materials, information and links. It is an 'interactive', website, in the sense that anyone with access to the internet can not only look at what is on the site, using easy-to-use views, keywords and full-text searches, but also submit new items to each of the areas - the Noticeboard, the Resource Area, the Bibliography Area and the Discussion Area - or respond to what is there already."

(ii) Home page of the new Mobilised Investigation project.

"In the different encounters of social movements that have been held in Europe this summer of 2002, we have met with others that are working with an activist perspective on diverse research projects around social movements. We have recognised ourselves in the other, lonely beings meeting their counterparts, and from shared ideas and feelings has come the initiative to propose a space where we meet.

The idea of this network is to create a (non-physical) space for convergence on an international level and with some ongoing activities like a website and an email list. Within this space we hope an active network will start to develop, where investigators meet and initiate projects, like shared publications, shared research projects, organising seminars, calling out for revolution etc....

One of our main interests with this network is to start a discussion on the relation of academia with social movements. Informed by critiques on the distant, objectifying and incomprehensible academic, we attach great importance to the development of new, more interactive and participative research methods. We believe the tools of social science can be used much more to the benefit of social movements, and not as present, to add more piles of paper to the inmeasurable industrial heap of theories destined for internal consumption."

(iii) Home page of the ASA section on collective behaviour and social movements

- Includes a large collection of bibliographies and other teaching resources.

(iv) Loughborough University Global Observatory social movements pages

- Pages and resources on a variety of movements.

(v) Intercontinental Gatherings for Humanity and against Neoliberalism

- Documentation of contemporary inter-movement discussions.

(vi) The New Social Movements Network

- Definitely worth a look; includes a good collection of documents.

(vii) RC 48

- The home page of the ISA section on social movements.

(viii) Working group on organizing, social movements and the academy

- Report from a thought-provoking conference; well worth a read.

(ix) Economic Democracy Information Network

- A project dedicated to expanding the voice of community organisations on the Net, with an excellent range of links and issues.

(x) SocioSite Activism page

- A wide-ranging set of links on subjects relating to activism.

Other potentially relevant mailing lists:
(i) Communications for a Sustainable Future

One of the best lists of lists available in this area, including the Progressive Sociologists' Network.

(ii) Cyberjournal

A range of anti-globalisation resources and lists are available here, including the cyberjournal and renaissance-network lists.

(iii) Critical Geography Forum

Large (c. 500 members) discussion group for critical geographers and others which seeks to promote:

  1. the development and dissemination of critical and radical perspectives in geography and related disciplines;
  2. critical and radical research, publication and educational activities undertaken by geographers;
  3. links between academic geographers and radical political activists and activities;
  4. equality of opportunity.

To subscribe, send an email to mailbase@mailbase.ac.uk with the message

join crit-geog-forum firstname(s) lastname

(No subject heading, no signature file.)

(iv) Research on Anarchism list

"The Research on Anarchism List (RA-L) is an international forum devoted to book review, research and discussion of the theories, histories and cultures of the world anarchist movements and to anarchistic topics. RA is multidisciplinary; the subjects discussed may be as different as historiography, popular culture, philosophy, political science, ecology, economy, art, literature, utopian studies, music, etc. Contemporary events, newly emergent perspectives, books and articles may also be carefully discussed from a theoretical and historical point of view in the light of an "anarchist" epistemology. The list operates in French, German, English and Spanish."

To subscribe, send the following message to listserv@bred.univ-montp3.fr:

SUBscribe RA-L lastname firstname

(No subject heading, no signature file.)

(v) The social-theory mailing list

General mailing list, with much American sociology and psychology, on occasion including some discussion of Marxism. To subscribe, send an email to mailbase@mailbase.ac.uk with the message

subscribe social-theory

(No subject heading, no signature file.)

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8 Archive information

Documents from the list are archived on the Web site archive. This comes under various headings:

(1) Complete archive in text format of postings to the social-movements list up to November 2000

(2) Reviews of books, periodicals and articles

(3) Reports on conferences, gatherings and other similar events

(4) Articles posted "for discussion"

Contributions sent to this list from November 2000 are automatically archived. You can get a list of the available archive files by sending the command "index social-movements" to listserv@listserv.heanet.ie. You can then order these files with the command "get social-movements logxxxx", or use Listserv's database search facilities. Send an "info database" command for more information on the latter. These archives are also available via the Web interface at http://listserv.heanet.ie/social-movements.html.

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9 Technical problems

The most common technical problems on mailing lists fall into two categories:

(a) Confusion of addresses for the mailing list.

social-movements@listserv.heanet.ie is the address to which messages intended for other participants should be sent. Trying to unsubscribe by sending messages to this address just sends a copy of the unsubscription message to all other members, causing much annoyance and failing to unsubscribe you.

listserv@listserv.heanet.ie is the address for technical commands such as unsubscription and subscription messages. This address recognises only a few such messages (see section 2 for details), which should have neither subject heading nor signature file.

(b) Confusion over your own address.

It is quite common for the address you normally give to other people (e.g. "lcox@wit.ie") not to be identical with the full address as known to your ISP (e.g. "lcox@staffmail.wit.ie"). This latter address appears, for example, in the "reply-to" field of messages you send to other people or to the list.

It can of course also happen that you change address or have it changed for you (for example, if your institution changes its general address).

In either case, it may happen that, without having unsubscribed, you find that you are not (or no longer) getting messages from the list (or indeed that the list refuses to let you unsubscribe). The first thing to do is to check that the address by which you subscribed to the list is workable as an address at which you can receive messages. If this appears to be the case, or if you have no way of checking, contact the listowners.

In case of any other technical problems, contact the listowners at .

The listowners are simply the technical link between the list as a discussion forum and the actual electronic workings of the list as localised on the NUI Maynooth server (or, in case of transfer, its new address). They are responsible solely for dealing with technical problems, at the request of individual participants or of the moderator. Listmembers are asked to attempt to resolve their own technical problems first, with the information in this charter, before contacting the listowners. The listowners are Laurence Cox (Dept. of Sociology, NUI Maynooth) and Jason Doran (Computer Services, NUI Maynooth). Please contact Laurence Cox at in the first instance for all problems related to the list - the less of a burden we can be on Computer Services time, the better for the list. In no case should participants contact the NUIM technical staff directly, as the viability of the list depends on minimising the demands made on NUIM computer services. Violators will be excluded from the list without appeal! ;-)

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10 References

Diani, Mario

1992 "The concept of social movement". Sociological Review, pp. 1 - 25.

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11 Thanks

This list is only possible because of the generous and unpaid cooperation of a large number of people. In no particular order, thanks are due to:

Anna Mazzoldi for hosting these pages, much help with thinking about the list, and HTML assistance.

Jason Doran of NUI Maynooth Computer Centre for supporting the transfer of this list from the WIT server to NUI Maynooth, and for agreeing to act as joint listowner.

John Murphy of WIT Computer Services for generous technical assistance during the first incarnation of this list on the WIT server, and for assistance with its smooth transfer to NUI Maynooth.

Stephen Yeates of HEAnet for creating the new incarnation of this list on the HEAnet server.

Richard K. Moore for Web space during the list's first incarnation.

Sebastian Haunss, Ian Maxey, Bronislaw Miztal, Jean-Yves Pidoux and Julian Thomas for agreeing to act as reviewers or review editors.

Sebastian Haunss and Abby Peterson for references.

Hank Johnston and Bronislaw Szerszynski for Internet information.

Steven Barkan, Colin Barker, Ronald Creagh, Martha Gimenez, Hank Johnston, Denis Linehan, Sara O'Sullivan, Jill Sutcliffe, Bronislaw Szerszynski and Diarmuid and Robert of Pobal an Dúlra for networking and publicity when this list was first launched.

Anyone who's been inadvertently forgotten!

Criticisms, comments, additions to

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Go clockwise round the ring
Go widdershins round the ring
Back to view the whole ring