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Place, networks, space: theorising the geographies of social movements

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This essay examines how geography affects the different types of networks underlying social movements. The principal argument of the paper is that networks forged in particular places and at great distances play distinctive yet complementary functions in broad-based social movements. Not only does the articulation of these different types of networks result in complementary roles, but it also introduces key relational dynamics affecting the stability of the entire social movement. The purpose of the paper is therefore threefold: to provide a conceptual framework for interpreting the complex geographies of contemporary social movement networks, to stress the contributions of place-based relations in social movements and to assess how activist places connect to form ‘social movement space’.

Keywords: networks; place; relations; social movements; territory

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Sociology, University of Amsterdam, Spui 21, 1012 WX Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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