Academic journal article Michigan Academician

Political Science

Academic journal article Michigan Academician

Political Science

Article excerpt

A Comparative Analysis of Social Movements in the Balkans: Otpor and Vetevendosje. Kevin Dearnley, Grand Valley State University

Contrary to what some research has shown, the emergence of a broad social movement in a country does not always translate into significant political change. A social movement can be organized around measurable goals such as reforming the electoral process, or removing a dictator from power, but size alone does not guarantee success. This paper expands upon the current social movement literature by examining several characteristics of two movements in the Balkans: Otpor (Resistance) in Serbia and Vetevendosje (Self-Determination) in Kosovo, in order to show which characteristics of social movements contribute to success. This paper examines the potential factors that influenced Otpor's success and show how Vetevendosje's differences as a social movement may explain its lack of success thus far. The first factor to be examined is the structure of the respective social movements. The second factor is the action orientation of these social movements. Various tactics that these groups have used will also be examined in conjunction with action orientation. The third factor is the political environment in which the groups operated.

Government for the Corporations and Elite. Austin Murphy, Oakland University

This research shows how corporations control the political process in the USA through legal corporate campaign donations and lobbying, concentrated control of the "mainstream" media, and the predominate power they have in providing needed jobs. Despite the existence of voting by the people, public opinion is largely formed by the media that puts strong social pressure on even dissidents, who are further motivated to conform in order to access employment. While there is a facade of a "free" media that does allow slightly differing views on policies as long as they serve the corporations that control it, the reality is that a prohibitively large amount of capital would be required to disseminate facts that deviate from the "mainstream" media that is controlled by large corporations. In cases where popular views, such as a desire for peace, health benefits for all, and government for the people instead of for banks and corporations, can't be dissuaded by the "mainstream" propaganda of the "mainstream" media, most "elected" politicians realistically recognize they are dependent on corporate support and campaign donations for their election. …

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