Mobilizing Difference: The Power of Inclusion in Transnational Social Movements

Fernando Tormos-Aponte, Purdue University


The field of international relations, and political science more generally, has expanded its traditional focus on the behavior of nation-states to include transnational activist networks, the proliferation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the development of global governance. This dissertation contributes to this body of literature by examining the role of diversity and inclusion in shaping the persistence and political influence of transnational social movements. The project employs a mixed-method research design combining large-N analysis and case studies of the transnational movement against sweatshops and the transnational environmental movement. Through an innovative combination of research methods, including participant observation, statistical analysis, and case studies, this project examines how transnational social movement diversity and inclusion affects the survival of movement organizations and the political influence of movements. The project tests the claim that inclusive approaches to organizing transnational movements improve the odds of maintaining solidarity over a longer period of time and exerting political influence over movement targets, particularly states and multinational corporations.




Weldon, Purdue University.

Subject Area

International Relations|Political science|Public policy

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