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On Political Institutions and Social Movement Dynamics: The Case of the United Nations and the Global Indigenous Movement

Rhiannon Morgan
International Political Science Review / Revue internationale de science politique
Vol. 28, No. 3 (Jun., 2007), pp. 273-292
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20445095
Page Count: 20
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On Political Institutions and Social Movement Dynamics: The Case of the United Nations and the Global Indigenous Movement
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Abstract

In this article, I consider the institutional influence of the United Nations on the organizational structures, tactical repertoires, and claims of the global indigenous movement. A predominant sociological paradigm has tended to view a movement's being located in conventional political space as promoting its "institutionalization," generally understood as a more or less determined process by which social movements undergoing organizational change eschew confrontational strategies and claims for more moderate approaches. This article illustrates that the consequences of interacting with institutions can be rather different than is expected from this paradigm, and thereby reinforces the need for a new approach allowing for more variation in terms of what takes place when social movements engage in conventional political activity. /// Dans cet article, j'examine l'influence institutionnelle des Nations unies (ONU) sur les structures organisationnelles, les répertoires tactiques et les revendications du mouvement indigène mondial. Un paradigme sociologique prédominant a eu tendance à voir un mouvement situé dans un espace politique conventionnel comme promouvant son "institutionnalisation", généralement comprise comme un processus plus ou moins contraint par lequel des mouvements sociaux subissant un changement organisationnel évitent des stratégies et revendications conflictuelles, en faveur d'approches modérées. Cet article montre que les conséquences de l'action réciproque avec des institutions peuvent être plutôt différentes que ce que le paradigme suppose et renforce ainsi le besoin d'une nouvelle approche tenant mieux compte des variations, c'est-à-dire de ce qui se produit quand des mouvements sociaux s'engagent dans une activité politique conventionnelle.

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