Social Movements: The Key Concepts

Social Movements: The Key Concepts

Social Movements: The Key Concepts

Social Movements: The Key Concepts


John Maynard Keynes failed to correctly interpret classic economic concepts, and dismissed the classical explanations and conclusions as being irrelevant to the world in which we live. The trauma of the Great Depression and Keynes's changed definition of economic concepts, aided by Eugen Böhm-Bawerk, have made it difficult for modern economists to fully appreciate the classical insights.

This outstanding book clarifies the classical explanations to resolve the continuing theoretical and policy disputes. Key chapters include:

  • On the Definition of Money
  • Keynes's Misinterpretation of the Classical Theory of Interest
  • The Classical Theory of Growth and Keynes's Paradox of Thrift
  • The Mythology of the Keynesian Multiplier

This unique book demonstrates that it is Keynes's understanding of some fundamental classical economic concepts which is at fault, and extends its analysis to other modern contributions in macroeconomics.


The concept of social movement has been around for almost one hundred years now and remains a contested concept within sociology and other disciplines. Despite this, use of the term social movement has spread across disciplinary and sub-disciplinary boundaries in recent years. This suggests that the importance of social movement as a category for describing and analysing the contemporary milieu has a renewed prominence. Like any area of study with a hundred-year lineage, the relationship between contemporary developments and established approaches results in a dialogical process of claim and counter claim. The relevance of different established positions to contemporary developments is one major theme that sits alongside debates between new interpretations and theories. This is an important part of the process through which knowledge is socially negotiated and consolidated within and between disciplines.

In an area as diverse as social movement studies some sort of thematic ordering device is essential to make sense of the richness that we are confronted by through the term social movement. The established terms ‘old social movement’ and ‘new social movement’ are valuable in terms of a sequential understanding. Old social movements originate in the social, economic and political dynamics of the nineteenth century whilst new social movements originate within the dynamics of the latter part of the twentieth century. However, the terms are analytically problematic on a number of grounds. Many of the surrounding processes, methods of organisation and intervention found in old and new movements are very similar. Many of the ‘new’ social movements had broadly equivalent counterparts in the nineteenth century or even earlier. This certainly applies to feminism, the environment and animal rights. An internationalist or global level of engagement has also been a feature of both old and new movements, as has the use of networks for organisational purposes. Irrespective of this, we would argue that after the old and new there has been a significant rise in the importance of ‘network movements’ as physical . . .

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