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Crossing Political Divides: Internet Use and Political Identifications in Transnational Anti-War and Social Justice Activists

in Eight Nations
W. Lance Bennett, University of Washington, Seattle Terri E. Givens, University of Texas, Austin Lars Willnat, George Washington University Paper for the European Consortium for Political Research workshop: “Emerging Repertoires of Political Action.” Uppsala, Sweden, April 14-18, 2004. 1 Preliminary report of findings. Do not site without permission. Comments welcome: lbennett@u.washington.edu Recent analyses suggest that political identity patterns in late modern societies continue to shift away from ideologically-based identifications anchored in mass social organizations (party, class, church) toward more self-directed political affiliations driven by lifestyle values (Giddens, 1991; Beck, 2000; Inglehart, 1997; Bennett, 1998). One result, as Putnam finds in the United States, is that relatively thin political ties (e.g., voluntary associations) seem to be growing while stronger civil society relations (e.g., group memberships) continue to decline. This trend is pronounced among younger citizens who are least engaged by conventional group membership and political participation patterns (Putnam, 2000). In many respects these trends were presaged by the pioneering cross national studies by Barnes, Kaase and colleagues (1979) at the dawn of this era of social and psychological change that continues to reshape citizen action in Western democracies. Their findings pointed toward many of the patterns that have come to characterize late
The authors would like to thank the team of students and colleagues who helped get this questionnaire into the field in three U.S. cities. They include: Victor Pickard, Lisa Horan, Sean Aday, and David Iozzi. We are also indebted to Christian Breunig whose help with the data analysis has been invaluable.
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2 modern politics: a) the psychological integration of conventional and unconventional political forms, with the result that activities such as boycotts and buycotts are now part of the everyday action repertoires of large numbers of citizens; b) the diffusion of common action repertoires -- consumer politics, culture jamming, protest themes, coordinated targets and actions --across national political cultures that remain different in terms of constitutions, institutions and rules; and c) the gradual replacement of grand coalition movements for systemic change with more flexible issue-driven direct action politics. Kaase and Marsh, for example, proposed a generalization about “the newly emerging participatory culture of advanced industrial societies” as “a culture characterized by the waning of broad socio-political movements for system change and an increase in limited, issue-based, and frequently regional ad hoc group actions that may well dissolve after the issue has receded.” (Kaase and Marsh, 1979, p. 49) These trends have continued to evolve in both national and transnational protest movements (Tarrow, 1999, 2003). The rise of a global social justice movement in recent years offers a window on the continuing evolution of these trends, with some new wrinkles concerning the sustainability of multi-issue movements and the capacities of individuals to engage in long term multi-issue politics. This movement had produced an impressive array of large scale, transnational protest activities aimed at diverse targets and political goals. Movement calendars of coordinated protests and intellectual gatherings have generally been organized under the banner of inclusiveness and diversity – which I describe elsewhere as both an organizational code and a meta-ideology (Bennett 2004 forthcoming). This movement has drawn activists concerned about many different issues

3 including: environment, health, human and labor rights, fair trade, debt relief, and global economic justice, to name a few. Organizational affiliations are equally diverse, ranging from traditional NGOs to direct action anarchist networks. Many of these activists are committed to multiple issues and causes, and they maintain affiliations across dense yet flexible political action networks. Amidst the dizzying and shifting network connections that often seem too fine grained to analyze meaningfully, there are also substantial hubs of communication convergence that produce social contact, information exchange, and action coordination. For example, the annual meetings of the World Social Forum have resulted in a broad issue and action agenda, from the rights of indigenous people and agrarian reform, to the promotion of environmental and labor standards regimes. (The 2004 program is available at http://www.wsfindia.org/). This organizational code of diversity and inclusiveness that has come to characterize this movement does not simply apply to the global social justice movement as a grand coalition, a movement of movements, or a network of networks. Political diversity also seems to be inscribed as a principle of consciousness at the individual level as well – with activists often joining a broad variety of causes. This can result in each activist becoming something of a node in multiple cause networks, moving the processes of social movement brokerage and mobilization below the group level to dense networks of individual-to-individual connections. Such personal relationship building has probably always characterized social movements, as McAdam (1988) found in the U.S. civil rights movement. However, most conventional movements have been dominated by single issues or a cluster of related issues, with organizationally brokered coalitions primarily crossing issue divides to achieve strategic ends (Keck and Sikkink, 1998). The global

We propose that a place to start answering these questions is to explore whether. How do multi-issue activists -particularly those operating in transnational movements --manage complex political identities on their own with less cueing and leadership from conventional groups. The central questions in this paper are: How do complex. E-media networks may help to account for the great reach of the global social . and sustain contacts with diverse social networks? An obvious but perilous answer is that electronic digital media (e-media) such as the Internet and the Web offer highly personalized and hyperlinked channels that enable activists to stay in touch with large numbers of others across various cause and action networks.4 social justice movement ethos of diversity and inclusiveness as individual-level principles of conscience raises the question of how the resulting multi-issue activist networks are sustained. and institutions? Of equal interest is the question of how these relatively autonomous activists engage in sustainable collective action with others. and how. Individual level reliance on diversity and inclusiveness as guides to action also raises questions of how (and whether) individuals manage and sustain engagement across issue divides without suffering fragmented identities or political ineffectiveness. These aspects of complex issue and identity management also raise a series of questions about the relationship between individual level consciousness and social organization among these post-conventional activists. leaders. given their ideational complexity and high volumes of personalized information exchange. maintain commitments and identifications. these more complex activists differ in their communication behaviors from citizens with more conventional political profiles. multi –issue activists acquire and exchange information.

2004 forthcoming).facilitate activist network bridging in ways that go beyond the usual claims that the internet mainly reduces the speed and costs of communication. The scale of the demonstrations was . A particularly rich opportunity to study activists with varying political identification profiles occurred with the large scale transnational protests against an impending war in Iraq on Feb 15. These fluid. 2003. 2003. Applications of digital social technologies create network structures that are accessible to activists with complex or “flexible identities” (Della Porta. The distributed design of many activist networks -. interactive.5 justice movement. and ideology -. culture. time.digital divides notwithstanding.also helps to explain the capacity of this movement to recombine and reconfigure around different issues. 2004 --Democracy and Internet Technology Section). producing a steady stream of large scale coordinated protests that have overcome impressive obstacles of geography. 2004 forthcoming). Tarrow. and individually calibrated communication networks may explain a good deal about the scale and sustainability of recent transnational protest politics (Bennett. and social forums) joining diverse and often widely dispersed activists (Bennett. or amplifies the capacity of existing organizations (see Center for Communication and Civic Engagement. Much has been written on how digital communication technologies – both hardware and software applications -. electronic networks in the global social justice (GSJ) movement also constitute organizational structures (such as decentralized campaign networks. 2003). 2004 forthcoming. In addition to reducing costs and accelerating the speed of mobilization.referred to by Coopman (2003) as dissentworks -. interactive protest calendars and planning sites.

religious.asp. contributing heavily to such aspects as: selection of a common time. Italy. United States. and two United Kingdom teams in England and Scotland) mobilized to put surveys into the field at each of the largest national demonstration sites to learn about the demonstrators in detail. we are interested in whether these global social justice (GSJ) activists are more likely than other demonstrators to have complex. Netherlands. and networking automated calendars for organizing future protests (Walgrave and Verhulst. diffusion of protest themes. and the list of protest coordination sites in the conclusion of this paper). Scholars from eight nations (Belgium. from the global social justice movement. estimated at as many as 10 million people by the BBC (2003). Germany.uk/march20/index.stopwar. multi-issue political identifications. Spain. The demonstrations drew a broad range of activists of varying political identifications. For look at the networks a year later.org.6 unprecedented. Many first time demonstrators also took to the streets with specific objections to a war against a country dubiously linked to terrorism by government officials in the US and Britain. and labor groups. creation of information sites. 2003. to national peace.uk/. and higher by various activist sources. In this report. Bennett 2004 forthcoming). In particular.stopwar. These protests also offer an interesting comparison group with which to contrast the GSJ activists: large numbers of first time demonstrators who were mobilized . publicity and communication strategies.org. we examine the communication and information styles of the global social justice activists who were instrumental in coordinating the transnational aspects of the antiwar protests. (For a glimpse of the scope of this demonstration and subsequent ones. see http://www. and whether they use e-media disproportionately to manage those identifications. Switzerland. see http://www.

The presence of these social justice factions promised an interesting mix of issues. . Before presenting our empirical findings. Complexity of Activist Political Identities We anticipated finding related measures of complex political identity in the strength of identification with the global social justice movement and the diversity of issues or causes embraced by individuals in past demonstrations. Finding such a relationship would lend support to the idea that diversity and inclusiveness are inscribed at the individual level as a basic organizational and ideological code of the GSJ movement. and political perspectives among the demonstrators. 2003).7 primarily out of specific concerns about the Iraq war itself – a group that is likely to be far more conventional in both political identification and information styles. political affiliations. Background & Hypotheses: Given the size and the diversity of the mobilization. to concerned citizens who had not participated in previous demonstrations. we anticipated that demonstrators would vary in terms of their political profiles – from experienced activists with histories of numerous past demonstrations. we would like to identify several broad hypotheses that guided our data analysis. and the degree to which they identified with the GSJ movement. The presence of substantial numbers of high diversity GSJ activists was anticipated in part because the broad coordination of the antiwar demonstrations was initiated by GSJ activists who attended social forum meetings in Europe and Brazil (see Walgrave and Verhulst. The more experienced activists were also expected to vary in terms of the diversity of the causes around which they had demonstrated previously.

and personal weblogs that enable individual level relationship maintenance.have created impressive networks of digital communication. organization sites containing mixes of research. often resulting in large scale transmission of viral communication (that is. enabling complex network organization and information exchange. lists. and Foster. global social justice identifications and histories of diverse demonstration types) manage the routine flow of information and social contacts required to sustain such different activities and issue engagements? Information & identity management In recent years. Emerging middle media technologies include software for: citizen-driven journalism (open publishing. and action information. and community blogs that employ new technologies for both on-and-off line social participation. 2003). Various applications of these social technologies can be found on the websites of . Hauser. large scale referral systems for political relationship-building. rating.particularly globalization activists -. Micro media include email. and distribution). middle. widespread diffusion through individual level contacts). and various democratic online coordination and decision systems (Jordan. collective editing.8 First hypothesis: activists with greater identification with the global social justice movement will also have more diverse protest backgrounds (measured by the number of different issues embraced in past demonstrations). Moving beyond this initial assessment of complex activist identity. news. activists -. and to consider how they link to conventional mass media channels. source reputation assessment. and mass media (Peretti. 2004). We adopt Peretti’s model of micro. It is useful to distinguish between different levels of these digital networks. the core question is how do people with relatively more complex political identities (in this case. Middle media include: webzines.

However. Slashdot. Second hypothesis cluster: Activists with more complex political identities will disproportionately use electronic channels for their routine political communication – both to achieve political goals and to receive daily political information. Amazon. and in the democracy and internet technology section of the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement (2004). How do less complex activist types manage their information and communication needs? A unique opportunity to assess less complex activist identity types came in the form of . All of this said. have succeeded in reaching bystander publics with messages of their choosing. Meetup. Direct activists who are often separated by large distances have been able to create their own imagined media communities and. E-Bay. Infoshop. In the immediate case of the antiwar demonstrators. and thus we do not expect electronic media use to entirely displace reliance on mass media for information and communication. Plastic. These communication networks have created some (debatable) degree of relief from previous social movement dilemmas of negative framing and exclusion from mass media news. we do expect that more issue-diverse GSJ activists will rely disproportionately on emedia both for general information and for advancing specific action repertoires. We also predict that activists with more complex political identities (in this case. strong GSJ identifiers will display the highest levels of e-media use. OneWorldTV. Moveon. stronger identification with the global social justice movement) are likely to be significantly less reliant on mass media communication and information channels than less complex political types. to some extent. the framing of protest activities by mass media outlets clearly remains an important concern in the strategic calculus of these activists. It is also useful to compare the GSJ identifiers to other activists to gain a more complete understanding of the variety of information and communication repertoires that may be operating among large protest populations such as vast antiwar demonstrations.9 Indymedia.

The Study: The overall design of the eight-nation antiwar demonstrator study is described in a preliminary report by Stefaan Walgrave and Joris Verhulst: Starting in December 2002. apart from New York. Berlin for Germany. we expect the first timers to be: a) significantly less identified with the global social justice movement. Norris. Amsterdam for the Netherlands. that is Madrid for Spain. and Brussels for Belgium. and c) significantly more oriented to mass media for their political information and communication than the more experienced demonstrators – particularly compared to the GSJ identifiers. Third hypothesis cluster: because they have turned out to protest a specific issue.182 respondents in total. With the exception of the United States (New York). 2003). Rome for Italy. In the UK a demonstration in Glasgow (Scotland) was covered too. London for the UK. They agreed on a common questionnaire and a field work method elaborated before by Walgrave & Van Aelst (1999. Bern for Switzerland. a group of social movement scholars began forging a network in order to survey the expected antiwar-demonstrations to be staged in the next few months. war was still far away. and have not engaged in other recent protests. b) significantly less likely to use emedia. The surveys cover a random sample of demonstrators engaged in eleven different events in eight countries involving 5. And in the US. Walgrave & Van Aelst.10 large numbers of “first timers” (our short-hand term for those who had not participated in a demonstration in the last five years) who were sufficiently moved by their opposition to the impending Iraq War to take to the streets alongside more experienced protesters. demonstrations in Seattle and . the demonstrations covered all took place in the country’s capital.

Then a dozen interviewers selected every Nth person in that row and distributed questionnaires to these individuals during the actual protest march. and compared the two batches for consistency of demographic variables before pooling the two . with no country’s response rate lower than 32%.S. …. particularly in New York). and to circle the crowd from the edges and walk toward the center in as straight a line as possible. giving questionnaires to every 10th person until they had been distributed. to ensure that the same number of rows was skipped throughout. For example. and were instructed to go to the main rally point where speeches were given. which is more than satisfactory for an anonymous survey without any reminders. and the political attitudes and values of the demonstrator. The selected participants were asked to complete the questionnaire at home and to mail it back. 2003 p.11 San Francisco were surveyed too. The Italian team distributed questionnaires on trains carrying demonstrators to Rome. First. The questionnaire maintained a large common core. fieldwork supervisors counted the rows of participants. …In all eight countries but Italy the actual survey process to establish a random survey of demonstration participants was twofold. with corrections by Bennett). selecting every Nth row. the mobilisation context. They also distributed another set at the main rally. There were a few variations on this sampling procedure. cases. we anticipated that the lines of march would be disorganized and possibly disrupted by police (as turned out to be the case. with only a few specific items adapted slightly for each country. 8. Survey teams were alerted in advance to this possibility. which also increases confidence in the procedure. The overall response rate for the postal survey was more than 51%. (Walgrave & Verhulst. including the participants’ profile. in the U.

925 Completed 705 547 1. p.100 1.000 1. its design.200 9.500 1.182 Response rate 32% 39% 100% 37% 54% 52% 46% 53% 51% TABLE 1: Response rate of postal survey in eight covered countries Source: Walgrave & Verhulst (2003). yes/no sympathy or support measure with a range of 0-1 based on the sympathy question. somewhat. A more complete discussion of the study. and a three point strength of identification .200(3 cities) 1. We created two measures: a binary.” respondents were then asked to how much they identified with the movement along a five point scale: not at all.025 1. little. and the questionnaires used in each country can be found at http://www. those who hold strong identifications with the global social justice movement also had participated in significantly higher numbers of different types of demonstrations. the leadership of the national teams. 8 (with corrections by Bennett) Findings Globalization Movement Identification and Protest Diversity As predicted in the first hypothesis. a lot. The numbers of questionnaires distributed and returned in each country are displayed in Table 1. Identification with the GSJ movement was measured by a question that asked “Do you sympathize with the movement against neo-liberal globalization?” If they answered “yes. USA UK Italy Spain Netherlands Germany Belgium Switzerland Total Distributed 2.400 1.12 samples.uia.ac.200 1. very much.025 443 542 781 510 637 5.be/u/wwwm2p//IPPS/.

63 12.72 17. overall levels of identification with the globalization movement were fairly high.5 2.24 31.13 scale where 1= no identification (either no on the sympathy question or not at all on the identity question).e.2 2.are likely to have encountered the term neo-liberal globalization.1 CH .29 25. since it appears frequently in speeches and papers from various movement organizations and conferences such as the World Social Forum meetings.82 2.0 2.000 hits.97 17.38 28.4 UK/G ..0 GER .20 57.86 28. with the majority .2 2.5 1. we are confident that the activists most closely identified with the movement – i.86 33.2 2.87 24. Mean values Globalization movement sympathy (binary) % missing Globalization movement identification (scale) % missing BEL .3 US .87 58. As indicated in Table 2. 3= a lot or very much.93 5.6 2. However.2 ESP .1 6. but there are substantial differences across the nations in the study. 2=a little or somewhat.8 2.75 6.3 1. leaving participants who were less familiar with the movement less clear about the term neoliberal globalization.5 UK/L .5 IT .37 2. The resulting identification patterns for the different countries are presented in Table 2. For the reader’s benefit. Some of the missing values may reflect the difficulty of finding a name for the global social justice movement that translated well across all nations.60 6.9 NL . the respondents most important for testing our hypotheses -.4 Table 2: Two measures of identification with the globalization movement. Table 2 also reports the varying levels of missing values across the cases. (The movement frame global social justice had not diffused as widely at the time of the study as it has now).93 15. A Google search on the term neoliberal globalization produced over 19.

2 363 1. Protest Diversity Participated in one or more demonstration type in 5 years BEL 3. and other.2 462 1. there is a strong association in all countries between identification with the GSJ movement and participation in diverse demonstrations. social issues (including labor).8 ESP 2. anti-racism.1 GER 2.4 330 1. As predicted.14 coming from activist organizations such as Global Exchange.2 441 1. Bottom figures are for the entire sample of demonstrators.2 308 0. human rights. Table 3 reports the levels of demonstration diversity across our cases. Ns are shown below scores.3 UK/L 2. regionalist.8 669 2. N ______________________________________________________________________ Table 3: Levels of Protest Diversity measured as the number of different types of demonstrations in the last five years.6 362 2. anti-globalization.2 CH 3. and so on. Jubilee South.7 N All cases.9 NL 2.0 544 2.4 UK/G 2.4 US 3.2 IT 3. The best evidence that the globalization movement measures were reliable is that our core hypotheses were all strongly supported. Indymedia.7 915 3. including no demo participation in 5 yrs 706 642 818 452 781 705 657 1016 976 Note: Scores are mean numbers of different demonstration types checked. indicating that identification with the GSJ movement is associated with complex political identifications . Top figures are for those who reported demonstrating in the last five years. In order to test the prediction that identification with the globalization movement is associated with more diverse protest activities. These responses were then averaged for each country. third world. environmental. we asked the respondents who had participated in other demonstrations in the last five years to indicate what different types of demonstrations they had participated in by checking as many as applied from the following list: peace demonstrations. women’s rights.

2 (2– 5) demonstration types checked). having a significance level < 10 % are labeled as °. < 5 % are labeled as *.2 (A series of regression models for the United States case is also reported below to offer a more integrated picture of the findings. These results (and those in the other preliminary analyses reported below) were based on cross-tabulations.) The specific analyses in Table 4 were based on rescaling respondents’ protest diversity scores as 0 (indicating no demonstration type checked in last five years). 2 . and tested for significance and direction of relationships. The Somer’s d statistics in Table 4 show that there is a strong association between protest diversity and both measures of anti-globalization identification for all the national samples. The positive Somer’s d confirms the direction of the hypothesis: the higher the identification with the GSJ movement. Spearman rho is a measure of association for ordinal variables based on the differences between ranks. The Mann-Whitney test statistics (for the binary antiglobalization sympathy measure) and Kruskal-Wallis test statistics (for the scaled antiglobalization sympathy measure) are also highly significant. 1 (one demonstration type checked). we rely on the Spearman rank order correlation (rho) as well as Somer’s d as measures of associations. The coefficient phi and the accompanied Pearson’s chi-square test is the appropriate the measure of association for nominal data (2x2 tables). Both are commonly utilized when assessing two ordinal variables. values having a significance level < 1 % as ** and values having a significance level < 0. Since the levels of measurement of the investigated variables in this preliminary analysis are either nominal or ordinal. Since almost all dependent variables are ordinal in nature. the Mann-Whitney-U-tests (for dichotomous independent variables) and Kruskal-Wallis-tests (for independent variables with more than two values) were also computed in order to assess differences between two groups. The summary results for all countries are reported in Table 4. Somer’s d is an asymmetric measure of association for ordinal variables that distinguishes between independent and dependent variables.15 and actions that cross diverse issue areas. Following the convention in statistics.1 % with ***. the more diverse types of protests the respondent is likely to have attended. and 3 (6 or more demonstration types checked).

sticker. . the high globalization movement identifiers are the most likely candidates for this e-media political information and action management strategy. local or national official. boycott. Managing Complex Identities: Information and Communication Channels We are now ready to assess the second cluster of hypotheses. Our major prediction is that activists with more complex political identities are more likely to use e–media to manage their political actions and communications. The inclusion of multiple information. and media variables in the questionnaire enabled us to develop multiple indicators of e-media and mass media use. **<. donation. organization. displaying a pin. flyer.05. Table 5 shows relationships between both measures of identification with the GSJ movement and a yes/no answer to a question about whether the respondent had used the internet in various activities aimed at promoting societal change in the past 12 months. strike. communication. or referendum. ***<. signing or gathering signatures for a petition. The list of changeoriented activities included: contacting a politician. boycott. initiative.001 and + or – indicates the direction of the association. For the theoretical reasons explained previously.01.16 BEL NL CH ESP GER US UK/L IT UK/G Globalization +** +*** +*** +** +*** +*** +** +*** +*** movement sympathy (binary) Globalization +*** +*** +*** +*** +*** +*** +*** +*** +*** movement identification (scale) Note: Somer’s d significance: * <. poster. Table 4: Relationship between protest diversity and two measures of identification with the globalization movement. fundraising.

05. sit in. and abstaining from an election as a protest. The chi-square tests for both the 2X2 (binary globalization sympathy measure. Indep. BEL NL CH ESP GER US UK/L IT UK/G +** +*** +** +° +*** .1. **<. both measurements of globalization movement identification are employed.17 contacting media.001 and + or – indicates the direction of the association as shown by Somer’s d Table 5. Once again. * <. occupation. violent action. The Italian case has restricted variance on the independent variable due to such high levels of globalization identification.01. although the direction was consistent with the prediction. binary internet use measure) tables and the 3X2 tables (3 point globalization identification strength scale) show that there is a significant relationship between globalization movement identification and use of the internet for political action. Var. The positive and significant Somer’s d establishes the directionality of the . and the strength and direction of these relationships were assessed via crosstabulation. Only Italy did not display significant results on the binary anti-globalization sympathy measure.+* +** + +** Globalization movement sympathy (binary) Globalization +*** +*** +*** +*** +*** +*** +** +** +** movement identification (scale) Note: Chi-square level of significance: ° <. ***<. Relationship between GSJ movement identification and use of the internet for political change. squatting.

Mass media dominant means weekly or daily reliance on any combination of mass media sources combined with only monthly or no e-media use. newspaper. we also measured media use more broadly to see how different activists receive general political information. These sources are displayed in the top half of Table 6. The bottom half of table analyzed summary measures of mass media and e-media by combining TV. other people such as family or friends (reported as social networks in Table 6). newspaper. and asked how often each source was utilized ( based on a four point scale: never. email lists. weekly. radio. websites. E-media dominant means weekly or daily reliance on any combination of e-media . daily use of an information type (mass. magazines. and the Mann-Whitney test statistics (for the binary anti-globalization sympathy measure) and Kruskal-Wallis test statistics (for the scaled anti-globalization sympathy measure) also confirm these finding as highly significant in all but the Spanish and Italian cases. The summary e-media use measure detects whether respondents indicated any use of either websites or e-mail as sources of political information. radio. and combining websites and email lists into an e-media variable. All of the summary variables in the bottom half of the table were scored for simple presence or absence of reliance on any of the component media sources. or daily).18 relationship. For example. and other sources. with the results based on 3X4 cross tabs assessing the relationship between the 3 point strength of movement identification scale and the 4 point media use scale. We asked about a range of information sources: television. magazine into a mass media category variable. or social networks) is based on respondents indicating daily reliance on at least one of the component information sources that make up the type. electronic. monthly. As noted above.

) The general information type measures in the bottom of the table also show that dominant mass media users (with the exception of the German and Belgian samples) display significantly lower levels of identification with the globalization movement. Table 6 shows that activist reliance on websites and e-mail lists is significantly associated with the strength of globalization movement identification in all countries with the exception of the UK cases (which also contained the highest numbers of missing values. indicating that less complex activists are more likely to manage their information and communication needs through more conventional communication channels such as the mass media.19 sources with only monthly or no use of mass media sources. Similarly. . This finding is also consistent with the general hypothesis. producing 2X3 crosstabs with the 3 point globalization identification scale. the summary measures of media source indicate that general e-media use and daily e-media use are significantly associated with strength of identification with the globalization movement in nearly all countries. (The test statistic for both the direction and significance of these associations is Somer’s d. resulting in a binary yes/no measure. but a final diagnosis will require further analysis).

Model 2 adds demonstration diversity and diversity of organizational affiliations to the equation to assess whether these other measures of complex identifications have independent main effects on the activists’ use of e-media information networks. Top of chart based on 4X3 crosstabs between globalization identification scale and 4 point media use scale in which 0= never. Table 6: Relationship between the strength of globalization movement identification (3 point identification scale) and general political information habits.001 and + or – specifies the direction of the association as indicated by Somer’s d. 1=monthly. The third model included various demographic controls (age. education. and dominant e-media use as the dependent variable.01. Model 1 in Table 7 is based on the binary measure of globalization movement sympathy as the sole independent variable. Bottom half based on 2X3 crosstabs based on binary summary media variables indicating reliance or no reliance on indicated media source type.20 BEL NL CH ESP GER US UK/L IT UK/G TV -** -* Newspaper -** +** Magazine +** +° Radio -° +* +** Social network Websites +** +*** +* +* +** +* +** E-mail lists +*** +*** +** +** +*** +** +* +* Social Networks daily +° -° Mass media daily -*** -*** Mass media dominant -* -*** -° -* -** -*** -** -*** E-media use +*** +** +** +*** +** +** +* E-media daily +° +* +* +** +*** +*** +** E-media dominant +** +* +* +*** +° Note: Level of significance: ° <. These relationships can be examined in more coherent theoretical terms by constructing logistic regression models in which variables are inserted step-wise to assess their independent and combined effects. of which we expected only age (younger activists) to be significantly more reliant on e-media networks. Our first set of models was run on the U. and income). sex. 2=weekly.1.S. data (others are currently being constructed).05. **<. ***<. 3=daily. * <. .

252* S. Dominant e-media use defined as daily or weekly reliance on any combination of websites or lists.188 . ***<.689** .05. Three regression models explaining dominant e-media use for general political information. **<.125 .001. and monthly or no use of mass media sources for political information.992*** . .E. Model 2 Exp(B) 1.187 S. sex. income.155 617 768. Model 2: add diversity of past demonstration types.193 29.607 567 684. education.5 .203 . Looking at the progression of these three models reveals that identification with the GSJ movement remains the best predictor of dominant e-media use in an activist’s .656 .398 (7) 63.E.191 1.240 617 753.092 Model 3 Exp(B) 1.01.872** .104 .279* 1.958 1.497 41.249 (1) 52.307 .314*** . diversity of organizational affiliations. Model 3 add: age.879 14.057 .301* 1. .160*** .3 .430 . Dependent variables entered: Model 1: globalization movement sympathy only.407 . ________________________________________________________________________ Table 7.098 1.099 .E.328** S.934 (3) 61. Sympathy (binary) Male Age Income Education Constant N -2 Log likelihood Chi-square (df) Percent predicted correctly 1.8 Note: Level of Significance: * <.21 Model 1 Exp(B) Demonstration diversity Organizational diversity Globalization Movement.619* 1.

third world). when we look at globalization movement identification (ratio of sympathetic to non sympathetic activists . we expect that some of the organizational affiliation patterns are more likely to be of the conventional sort (e. global social justice. As common sense might lead us to think. union or party). Since both protest diversity and organizational diversity operate independently of GSJ identification. mass media sources are far and away the most important for the demonstrators as a whole. neighborhood groups). Further refinement of the data set should yield insights about how these more and less conventional political identity types follow their issue concerns and communicate with their political associates. environmental.g. Figure 1 shows the distribution of responses across the entire 8 nation sample for a question about the activist’s most important source of information on the Iraq crisis. human rights. it may seem unlikely to find any substantial reliance on non-mass media information sources among citizens following a breaking news event. Before turning to our comparison group of first time demonstrators. suggesting that there is also a tendency for activists with other kinds of complex political affiliations to rely more on emedia to manage their networks of political relationships. However.g. these findings open a new line of research on media and communication strategies among different types of complex activists. we can step back and take a different look at the relationship between complex political identities and communication patterns by pooling the country data and displaying two striking trends across the entire set of demonstrators.. while others are more likely to be post-conventional (e. Indeed. For example. while others may straddle both types of networks (e. However...22 communication repertoire.g. we also find strong independent effects with demonstration diversity and organizational diversity.

Most important source of political information in following the Iraq crisis? (Across all countries) 2000 1800 1600 Number of mentions 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 newspaper tv radio websites Media source social networks magazines mailinglists 323 168 126 89 851 1281 1728 Figure 1: Most important sources of information in following the Iraq Crisis for all demonstrators in all 8 nations. only newspapers remain important. they have created alternative information networks that complement their political action repertoires to the extent that they even become important for receiving news information about breaking events. while e-media sources jump from relatively unimportant to highly important. . This suggests that while these more complex globalization activists do not turn away from the mass media.23 for each information source).

3% in Italy to 54.00 4.00 5.00 newspaper mailinglists websites magazines Media Source radio social networks tv Figure 2: Ratio of globalization movement sympathy among demonstrators who designated each information source as most important for following the Iraq Crisis. We characterize first time protestors as those for whom this was the first demonstration in the last five years. ranging from 9. having demonstrated at some point earlier in their lives.00 3.24 Levels of globalization movement sympathy associated with most important demonstrator information sources on Iraq War (across all countries) 7. national.00 Ratio of globalization movement sympathy (yes vs.4% in the Netherlands.00 2.68 2.48 4.10 4.77 4. .) As Table 8 shows. so to speak. the range of first timers varied across the countries in the study. First Timers’ Information and Communication Practices Our third set of hypotheses concerned the information and communication strategies of a group that we suspected to have relatively simpler. The questionnaire asked respondents to estimate how often in the past five years they had participated in a local. no) for each info source designated most important 6. or international demonstration or public protest. (This group also included a few respondents who had come out of activist retirement.93 4. and more conventional political identification profiles: first timers.00 6.09 4.

This suggests that first timers were mobilized primarily in response to the particular issue of the Iraq crisis. (Relationships are based on 2x2 and 2x3 crosstabulations derived from binary yes/no measure of prior demonstration attendance.3 1016 UK/G 37.01. The level of significance was determined by the Pearson’s chi-square statistic (nominal) and Somer’s d (ordinal).8 706 NL 54. BEL -** NL -*** CH -** ESP GER -*** US -** UK/L -*** IT -*** UK/G -*** Table 9. As predicted. Table 9 displays the association between first timers and the two previously defined measures of anti-globalization sympathy. + or – specifies the direction of the association as indicated by phi (nominal) and Somer’s d (ordinal).1.3 976 Table 8: Percentage of demonstrators for whom this was the first demonstration attended in the last five years. .5 705 UK/L 23.001. * <.0 818 ESP 20. ***<. **<. DependentVariable Globalization movement sympathy (binary) Globalization Movement -*** -*** -*** -* -** -*** -*** -*** -*** Identification (scale) Note: Level of significance: ° <.25 BEL First timers (%) N (total) 22. Ns are shown below scores.7 452 GER 22. and binary and 3 point globalization movement identification measures). less active political styles that involve less bridging of different issue divides. The Pearson’s chi-square (for the nominal levels of associations) and Somer’s d statistics (for the ordinal levels of association) strikingly show that there is a strong negative association between being a first timer and both measures of anti-globalization sympathy.1 657 IT 9.05. Association between being a first time demonstrator and the two antiglobalization sympathy measures. and that they have relatively simpler.4 642 CH 27.0 781 US 29. there was a strong negative association between identification with the GSJ movement and being a first timer.

newspaper. radio. websites. email lists. or daily) they utilized a range of information sources (television. radio. Table 10: Relationship between first time demonstrators and use of the internet for political actions aimed at change. The bottom half of the table groups the individual media into source categories (TV. magazine were all combined in the mass media .05. magazines. Recall that respondents were asked how often (never. Dependent Variable BEL NL CH ESP GER US UK/L IT UK/G Using the internet for -** -*** -** -* -** -*** -** -** political change Note: Chi-square level of significance: ° <. The next question is how do these less complex activists manage their information and communication needs? Table 10 shows the relationship between being a first time demonstrator and the binary (yes/no) question about whether the respondent had used the internet in any of the earlier list political activities aimed at promoting societal change.26 Since. **<.001 and + or – indicates the direction of the association as shown by the coefficient phi. * <. monthly. other people such as family or friends. by definition. The first timers were also different from the rest of the demonstrators in terms of their general information and communication preferences. we have now established two indicators of relatively less complex political identity in this category of activists.1. ***<. The 2x2 cross-tabulation of these two variables produced highly significant Pearson’s chi-square and Mann-Whitney test statistics indicating that first timers are far less likely than all the other more experienced demonstrators (globalization movement identifiers and others combined) to have used the internet for political action (with the exception of the London sample). and other sources). These individual sources are shown in the top half of Table 11. newspaper. weekly. being a first timer means low demonstration diversity.01.

Based on 4x2 (top half) and 2x2 (bottom half) cross-tabulations. The level of significance was determined by the Pearson’s chi-square statistic (nominal) and Somer’s d (ordinal). while they are significantly more reliant on mass media use than the general population of demonstrators.1. The analyses of the general (mass media. BEL NL CH ESP GER US UK/L IT UK/G TV +** +° +* +° Newspaper -** -** Magazine -° -** -** Radio -** Social network -* -° Websites -* -*** -* -** -*** E-mail lists -* -*** -*** -* -*** -*** -*** -*** Social Networks daily -° -* +*** +*** Mass media daily +* +*** -* +*** Mass media exclusive +*** +*** +** +*** +*** E-media use -* -** -* -*** -* -*** E-media daily -** -*** +** -*** E-media exclusive -* -*** +* -* Note: Level of significance: °<.001.01. ***<. + or – specifies the direction of the association as indicated by phi (nominal) and Somer’s d (ordinal). *<. .05. social network) source categories employed the same measures and procedures described above in the anti-globalization sympathy section. Table 11: Relationship between first time demonstrators and general political information habits. The statistics for both the direction and significance level of these associations is Somer’s d (for ordinal levels of measurement) and the Pearson’s chi square test statistic (for the 2x2 matrixes). websites and email lists were combined in the e-media category). **<. e-media. Table XX indicates that first timers are generally less likely to employ e-media sources for their political information purposes.27 category.

Not surprisingly. Activists have responded by creating transnational subpolitics of their own.28 CONCLUSION Our analysis indicates that a defining property of post-conventional transnational activism is the tendency to bridge issue divides as a core element of political consciousness. These social communication technologies are also important because they enable activists to constitute new . not to mention complicated by their removal from national governmental agendas through what Beck (2000) terms subpolitics. or that e-media use merely reduces the cost of communicating across diverse networks or great distances. with multi-issue agendas and diverse action repertoires as defining elements. this complex issue-and-action bridging is most pronounced in our data set in the diversity of past demonstration behavior among those activists most sympathetic to the GSJ movement. This means that e-media applications are not just more convenient than conventional communication channels. while compromising attention to a host of related issues on national institutional agendas through a combination of direct subvention of parties and pressures from transnational rule-making bodies such as the World Trade Organization. This may be due in part to the perception among many younger generation activists that issues in a globalizing world are increasingly interrelated. The political communication styles observed among these activists are important for understanding both the diversity of their political action repertoires and the capacities of their networks. This refers to the means by which powerful corporate interests escape formal governmental regulation by moving manufacturing and labor operations offshore.

at the collective level -. in his sweeping historical analysis of social movements. . as organizational. they may miss the point that there is considerable intentionality in the design of flexible communication networks that nest loosely within larger. or obligation to share specific ideological collective identity frames. and commitment to radical democracy with few leaders. there is also a possibility that such concerns about sustainability and effectiveness also reflect perspectives on social movement organization that have been forged through observation of more conventional social protests focused within national cultural and institutional contexts. These concerns may eventually prove well-founded as the story of the GSJ movement unfolds.29 organizational forms that reflect -.the principles of political consciousness inscribed at the individual level: inclusiveness.e. For example.. multi-issue activism. multi-issue networks in which individual activists may frequently shift commitments and action repertoires. dense. However.) If rethinking the nature of communication among these activists (i. Charles Tilly (2004) has raised compelling concerns that these activist networks may be less sustainable or effective because of their thin organizational ties and seemingly weak activist commitment levels. not just informational) will help to explain the coherence of postconventional forms of complex. binding group memberships. some conventional understandings about social movements and political action may have to be adjusted. (The principles of inclusiveness and diversity may represent something of a meta-ideology. To the extent that observers view the GSJ movement (and its seeming detours into antiwar protests) through the lenses of conventional organizational and collective identity frameworks. diversity.

stability. In this networked world. recognizing the potential for effective action in such fluid organizations requires thinking differently about how activists build individual level relationships and network organizations. IMF). Swarms of activists at demonstrations may promote multiple goals without suffering the disorder often attributed to them by mass media news accounts. As noted previously. Such organizational dynamics do not rest easily within a perspective that regards organizational growth. most participants. many GSJ movement activists subscribe to principles of radical democracy – heterarchy is the rising term for it. and collective identity framing as necessary conditions for political effectiveness. Many also rely on continuously evolving social communication technologies to keep them connected and to tune those connections to evolving action repertoires. Those protest goals may include: making their collective presence felt and their diverse voices heard. Jubilee activists managed to place debt relief on the agendas of target organizations (World Bank. In short. both North and South. as well as inscribing the issue within the larger GSJ movement in which the fragmentary former Jubilee network nodes still remain connected. amorphous new organizational networks emerge as previous ones fall away.30 As the oft-cited case of the Jubilee debt relief network illustrates. the networked activism at the base of recent large scale transnational protests suggests a different organizational model in which inclusiveness and inter-organizational permeability are regarded as essential elements of overall movement sustainability and effectiveness. 2004 forthcoming. Rather. 2003). Surman and Reilly. resisted initiatives to become more formally organized. with the result that the network structure eventually transformed into more fragmentary satellite networks. Despite the fragmentation of the network. (Bennett. disabling their protest .

who may then use that information in developing action plans at a subsequent stage of the political process. music. first. demonstrators commonly report on their own actions via mobile phones.g. rated. and distributed by activists themselves.g. art. Houser. or video cameras linked . and disrupting life-as-usual in branded urban environments with theater. as indicated in Figure 2. joining forces with other activist networks to protest wars. A core organizational principle running through these repertoires of protest is the creation of self-organizing networks based on personal relationships that are sustained at least partly by online information exchanges and interactions (Jordan. and Foster. To cite just one example.31 targets (e. 2003). PDAs. from distant sources to passive individual receivers. new communication repertoires enable the integration of information and action. and incorporate those reports in the evolving coordination of the event itself.. about the Iraq crisis) is now commonly produced. edited. as activists report on events as they are happening. While monitoring mass media sources remains important. marking a departure from the idea of a two stage mass communication model in which information comes. what we conventionally think of as news (e. and other forms of culture jamming (Bennett. The idea of self-organizing networks in which each new technology release reflects the political learning from the last release puts communication in a constitutive relationship to social movement organization. It is now common for information to become integrated with the action process in real time. publicizing permanent campaigns against diverse corporate and political targets (from Nike to the WTO).. 2003). For example. disrupting trade conferences). The movement meme for this kind of information relationship was coined by Indymedia: Be the media.

For example. 2004 demonstrations marking the first anniversary of the beginning of the war offered the GSJ network a broad overview of the protest mobilization scheduled for the next day (World Social Forum. many observers expressed concern that mobilizing protests against the war might sap the energy or even disrupt the young and seemingly fragile global social justice movement. hyperlinked. Here is the item on the antiwar demonstrations as it appeared in the middle (item 5) of a list of diverse items sent through movement networks: .the transnational antiwar protests. the (interactive. It is interesting to note that at the time of the buildup to the Iraq war. 2002). a newsletter on sent out from the World Social Forum on the eve of the March 20. open network) communication models pioneered by GSJ activists have enabled multi-issue activism to operate smoothly at many levels of protest politics. A case in point returns us to return to the main focus of our study -. is that flexible activist networks and the comparably flexible identities of many of the organizers of the war protests became rather easily integrated within the open structures of the GSJ movement. Rheingold has described these collective intelligence capacities in somewhat hyperbolic form as smart mobs (Rheingold. crossing issue divides without apparent loss of organizational coherence or individual commitment. instead.32 to streaming technologies. Whether these distributed intelligence networks are as decisive as often portrayed. 2004). with the information interpreted and fed back to participants to guide strategic decisions that can shape the course of a protest action in the moment. multicast. What seems to have happened.

Washington).html http://www.internationalanswer.pl www. Gothenburg and Uppsala).uk/ http://www. Montreal. there will be many worldwide demonstrations of the Global Day of Action on the one-year anniversary of the Iraq War.nu/ http://www. Indonesia (Jakarta). Pakistan (in all the districts and cities).de/ter20-03.jp/ http://www.at/stories/storyReader$1925 www.org/campaigns/m20/m20transp. Chile (Santiago). Spain (Barcelona.org.htm www. Sevilla. Trondheim. The Netherlands (Amsterdam).acp-cpa. Ancara.internationalanswer. Madrid. Iraq (Baghdad).unitedforpeace.org/ This list of antiwar sites was followed by item 6. Senegal (Dakar).stopwar.stopwar. . Hamburg.php?caltype=17 www. Presidente Prudente. Read here the March 20 call to action in English e Spanish See also the list of cities where mobilizations will take place: Algeria (Argel). with no indication that the two large scale mobilizations were in any way conflicting or competing for the energies of the same activists. Yemen (Sanaa). Turkey (Adana. Scotland (Glasgow). Italy (Rome). Denmark (Copenhagen). Toronto.dk/ http://www. Halifax. Midland. For more information on the demonstrations that are to be held.html http://www.pl http://www.fridur.com/aire/guerraNO/ www. Gaza). Palestine (Ramallah.org http://www. Hungary (Budapest).motkrig.org http://www.ca www.socialforum.org.centrum. Morocco (Casablanca).htm http://www. Hobart and all the capitals).scn-net. Mexico (Mexico City). Japan (Tokyo).org/iraq/ http://www.internationalanswer.ne.march20th.irishantiwar.stoppakriget.is/~einarol/ http://www. 2004. Porto Alegre.stopusa.org/campaigns/m20/m20transp.at/sf/antikrieg/ http://www. Norway (Oslo. Nova York.shtml http://www. Curitiba. Austria (Vienna).stop-the-war.com/aire http://kloakas. Global Day of Action on the one-year anniversary of the Iraq War On March 20.be http://www. Valencia). Egypt (Cairo). Brasília. São Paulo).Tromsa e Stavanger). Syria (Damask.stopwar. Bergen. Istanbul.html http://www.w.nl www. Kelowna.33 5. a list of a dozen forthcoming regional social forum gatherings.html http://www. Argentina (Buenos Aires).kr http://www.org/peace/index.is http://notendur. Sudan (Cartum). Frankfurt. Finland (Helsinki).anpo-osk. São Luís. Rostock).ippnw. Canberra.nodo50. Germany (Berlin Potsdamer Platz. Bangladesh (Daca). Iran (Teheran). Philadelphia.irak. Perth.org/calendar.org/campaigns/m20/index.jp/ http://www.friedensnews.banthebomb.be www. Paraguay (Assunção). Vancouver). Czech Republic (Prague).ca www.friedenskooperative.de/Ramstein/index. Rio de Janeiro. Brazil (Belo Horizonte. Sweden (Stockholm.de/ter20-03.internationalanswer. Adelaide. Canada (Brampton. Lebanon (Beirut). New Zealand (Wellington). Iceland (Reykjavik).org www. Izmir and Trabzon). Belgium (Brussels). Greece (Athens).wereldcrisis.stopwojnie. San Francisco.worldpeacenow.or. England (London). France: in the main cities.org/campaigns/m20/m20transp. Australia (Sydney. Thailand (Bangkok).uk/march20 http://www.320act.org/campaigns/m20/m20transp. The United States (Boston.html http://www. Jordan (Aman).fundacioperlapau. Chicago.kloakas. Tarragona. Poland (Varsovia). during the IV World Social Forum in Mumbai.stopterrorkrigen. South Africa (Johannesburg). Salvador. Salt Spring Island.geenoorlog. Ireland (Dublin).org/paremoslaguerra http://www. Portugal (Lisbon).jp/~takagi/ http://www. Recife.has been chosen at the Global Anti-War Assembly that was held on January 19. check the following websites: www. India. Melbourne. India (Mumbai).html#event http://www.internationalanswer.friedenskooperative. Alepo). The date is the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the attack of the United States to this country . Fortaleza. Peterborough. Los Angeles.

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