Protest and Social Movements in the Developing World

Protest and Social Movements in the Developing World

Edited by Shinichi Shigetomi and Kumiko Makino

In this insightful book, the contributors focus on the impact of contextual factors on social movements in the developing world, pushing major existing theories beyond their traditional focus.

Chapter 3: Institutional Readiness and Resource Dependence of Social Movements: The Case of Provincial Development Forums in Thailand

Shinichi Shigetomi

Subjects: development studies, development studies


Shinichi Shigetomi INTRODUCTION Resource mobilization theory, one of the mainstream modern theories of social movement analysis, focuses on the capability of social movement organizations (SMOs) to mobilize resources and manufacture their environments by using acquired resources effectively (McCarthy and Zald 1973, 1977). Since the theory has been conceived and developed in the North American context of social movements, it assumes a situation where SMOs find abundant resources and have discretion in mobilizing the resources through the associative or market setting (Morris and Herring 1987, p. 162; Lo 1992; Skocpol 2003; Shigetomi, Chapter 1 in this volume). However, the availability of resources alone does not automatically create a movement. Moreover, in many developing countries, SMOs cannot expect such affluence even though resources are still important to their activities (Schuurman 1989, p. 15). In fact, the leaders of social movements face constraints in the following two ways. Firstly, they are embedded in institutional settings which determine the readiness for utilization of the resources required for the purposes of their movement. Secondly, the management of their organizations is influenced by the source of the resources. In this context, I will argue that the formation of some social movements can be better explained by the institutionalist and the resource dependence approach. In other words, the institutional environment shapes the form of social movements which mobilize resources (Scott 2001) while the resources themselves bring external control to the movements (Pfeffer and Salancik 2003). For this discussion, the case of a Thai civic movement which seeks...

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