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Aiming to Overthrow the State (Without Using the State): Political Opportunities for Anarchist Movements

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image of Comparative Sociology
For content published from 1960-2001, see International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

AbstractThe anarchist movement utilizes non-statist and anti-statist strategies for radical social transformation, thus indicating the limits of political opportunity theory and its emphasis upon the state. Using historical narratives from present-day anarchist movement literature, we note various events and phenomena in the last two centuries and their relevance to the mobilization and demobilization of anarchist movements throughout the world (Bolivia, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Greece, Japan, Venezuela). Labor movement allies, failing state socialism, and punk subculture have provided conditions conducive to anarchism, while state repression and Bolshevik success in the Soviet Union constrained success. This variation suggests that future work should attend more closely to the role of national context, and the interrelationship of political and non-political factors.


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