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Between the State and the Market: Expanding the Concept of 'Political Opportunity Structure'
Mattias Wahlström and Abby Peterson
Vol. 49, No. 4 (Dec., 2006), pp. 363-377
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20459955
Page Count: 15
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This article brings together two research traditions: social movement theory and theories of corporate social responsibility. The study is an attempt to widen the perspective on the relationship between a business/business sector and its external stakeholders in order to include social movements. We depart from a three-part model of political opportunity structures, including state, cultural and economic opportunity structures. In order to illustrate our model, the article is centred on the case of the Swedish animal rights movements' political pressure on domestic fur-farming. The animal rights movement has had considerable success by engaging with a relatively open cultural opportunity structure, winning a framing war in regard to the moral issues raised. Despite the fur industry's attempts to counter-mobilize, the animal rights movement has found a hearing in formal political channels and has achieved considerable success. However, since the movement is faced with an economic opportunity structure that is not vulnerable to the demands of stakeholders, and where there is great inconsistency between the interests of the industry and the demands of the stakeholders, it is not surprising that the farmers have been non-compliant.
Acta Sociologica © 2006 Sage Publications, Ltd.