Routing the Opposition: Social Movements, Public Policy, and
Democracy. Edited by David S. Meyer, Valerie Jenness, and Helen
Ingram. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005. 360p. $70.50
cloth, $23.50 paper.
Most social scientists cling to a progressive image of history, in
which one group after another organizes for various rights and interests,
pursues them in a number of arenas until—often after much struggle
and bloodshed—they gain the legal recognitions and influence on
policies they seek. The circle of rights and recognition slowly and
inexorably expands outward. Scholars of social movements, in particular,
are committed to the idea that the protestors they study have a broad
impact and play a key role in history. Their faith in this idea often
outpaces the evidence and makes the proposition difficult to test.