Movement organizations, synergistic tactics and environmental public policy

Erik W. Johnson, Jon Agnone, John D. McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


This study builds on political mediation and movement infrastructure models to highlight contingent and synergistic ways in which social movements may impinge upon the U.S. national policy-making process. Analyses employ a variety of datasets to examine the role of environmental movement organizational capacity, protest and institutional activity in garnering Congressional attention to, and action on, salient issues from 1961 through 1990. We find all types of movement activity, but especially the development of national organizational infrastructures, to be positively associated with the convening of Congressional hearings on the environment. Only when there are high levels of both protest and institutional activity is there any evidence that the environmental movement directly influences the passage of environmental laws.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2267-2292
Number of pages26
JournalSocial Forces
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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