Abstract for:The Dynamics of Social Movements

Social movements have long been effective methods of changing individual and societal behavior and beliefs (for better, as in the case of the Civil Rights Movement, or worse, as in the case of the growing neo-Nazi movement in the US today). However, there are many promising movements that fail to even reach the initial stage of mobilization, and many more that fail to generate the promised change. A systems dynamics model is used to identify leverage points to engineer effective social movements. The results suggest that very rarely can one leverage point result in an effective social movement. Instead, one needs a combination of favorable factors, reflecting the structural strain theory of social movements.