Collective action

Collective action refers to action taken together by a group of people whose goal is to enhance their status and achieve a common objective.[1] It is a term that has formulations and theories in many areas of the social sciences including psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science and economics.

The social identity model

Researchers Martijn van Zomeren, Tom Postmes, and Russell Spears conducted a meta-analysis of over 180 studies of collective action, in an attempt to integrate three dominant socio-psychological perspectives explaining antecedent conditions to this phenomenon – injustice, efficacy, and identity.[2] In their resultant 2008 review article, an integrative Social Identity Model of Collective Action (SIMCA) was proposed which accounts for interrelationships among the three predictors as well as their predictive capacities for collective action.[2] An important assumption of this approach is that people tend to respond to subjective states of disadvantage, which may or may not flow from objective physical and social reality.

Perceived injustice

Examining collective action through perceived injustice was initially guided by relative deprivation theory (RDT). RDT focuses on a subjective state of unjust disadvantage, proposing that engaging in fraternal (group-based) social comparisons with others may result in feelings of relative deprivation that foster collective action. Group-based emotions resulting from perceived injustice, such as anger, are thought to motivate collective action in an attempt to rectify the state of unfair deprivation.[2] The extent to which individuals respond to this deprivation involves several different factors and varies from extremely high to extremely low across different settings.[3] Meta-analysis results confirm that effects of injustice causally predict collective action, highlighting the theoretical importance of this variable.[2]

Perceived efficacy

Moving beyond RDT, scholars suggested that in addition to a sense of injustice, people must also have the objective, structural resources necessary to mobilize change through social protest. An important psychological development saw this research instead directed towards subjective expectations and beliefs that unified effort (collective action) is a viable option for achieving group-based goals – this is referred to as perceived collective efficacy. Empirically, collective efficacy is shown to causally affect collective action among a number of populations across varied contexts.[2]

Social identity

Social identity theory (SIT) suggests that people strive to achieve and maintain positive social identities associated with their group memberships.[4] Where a group membership is disadvantaged (for example, low status), SIT implicates three variables in the evocation of collective action to improve conditions for the group – permeability of group boundaries,[5] legitimacy of the intergroup structures, and the stability of these relationships. For example, when disadvantaged groups perceive intergroup status relationships as illegitimate and unstable, collective action is predicted to occur, in an attempt to change status structures for the betterment of the disadvantaged group.

Meta-analysis results also confirm that social identity causally predicts collective action across a number of diverse contexts. Additionally, the integrated SIMCA affords another important role to social identity – that of a psychological bridge forming the collective base from which both collective efficacy and group injustice may be conceived.

Model refinement

While there is sound empirical support for the causal importance of SIMCA’s key theoretical variables on collective action,[2] more recent literature has addressed the issue of reverse causation, finding support for a related, yet distinct, encapsulation model of social identity in collective action (EMSICA).[6] This model suggests that perceived group efficacy and perceived injustice provide the basis from which social identity emerges, highlighting an alternative causal pathway to collective action. Recent research has sought to integrate SIMCA with intergroup contact theory (see Cakal, Hewstone, Schwär, & Heath[7]) and others have extended SIMCA through bridging morality research with the collective action literature (see van Zomeren, Postmes, & Spears[8] for a review).

Public good

The economic theory of collective action is concerned with the provision of public goods (and other collective consumption) through the collaboration of two or more individuals, and the impact of externalities on group behavior. It is more commonly referred to as Public Choice. Mancur Olson's 1965 book The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups, is an important early analysis of the problems of public good cost.

Besides economics, the theory has found many applications in political science, sociology, communication, anthropology and environmentalism.

Collective action problem

The term collective action problem describes the situation in which multiple individuals would all benefit from a certain action, but has an associated cost making it implausible that any individual can or will undertake and solve it alone. The ideal solution is then to undertake this as a collective action, the cost of which is shared. Situations like this include the prisoner's dilemma, a collective action problem in which no communication is allowed, the free rider problem, and the tragedy of the commons, also known as the problem with open access.[9] An allegorical metaphor often used to describe the problem is "belling the cat".[10]

Solutions to collective action problems include mutually binding agreements, government regulation, privatisation, and assurance contracts, also known as crowdacting.[11]

Exploitation of the great by the small

Mancur Olson made the claim that individual rational choice leads to situations where individuals with more resources will carry a higher burden in the provision of the public good than poorer ones.[12] Poorer individuals will usually have little choice but to opt for the free rider strategy, i.e., they will attempt to benefit from the public good without contributing to its provision. This may also encourage the under-production (inefficient production) of the public good.

Institutional design

While public goods are often provided by governments, this is not always the case. Various institutional designs have been studied with the aim of reducing the collaborative failure. The best design for a given situation depends on the production costs, the utility function, and the collaborative effects, amongst other things. Here are only some examples:

Joint products

A joint-product model analyzes the collaborative effect of joining a private good to a public good. For example, a tax deduction (private good) can be tied to a donation to a charity (public good).

It can be shown that the provision of the public good increases when tied to the private good, as long as the private good is provided by a monopoly (otherwise the private good would be provided by competitors without the link to the public good).


Some institutional design, e.g., intellectual property rights, can introduce an exclusion mechanism and turn a pure public good into an impure public good artificially.

If the costs of the exclusion mechanism are not higher than the gain from the collaboration, clubs can emerge. James M. Buchanan showed in his seminal paper that clubs can be an efficient alternative to government interventions.[13]

A nation can be seen as a club whose members are its citizens. Government would then be the manager of this club.

Federated structure

In some cases, theory shows that collaboration emerges spontaneously in smaller groups rather than in large ones (see e.g. Dunbar's number). This explains why labor unions or charities often have a federated structure.

In philosophy

Since the late 20th century, analytic philosophers have been exploring the nature of collective action in the sense of acting together, as when people paint a house together, go for a walk together, or together execute a pass play. These particular examples have been central for three of the philosophers who have made well known contributions to this literature: Michael Bratman, Margaret Gilbert, and John Searle, respectively.

In (Gilbert 1989) and subsequent articles and book chapters including Gilbert (2006, chapter 7) Gilbert argues for an account of collective action according to which this rests on a special kind of interpersonal commitment, what Gilbert calls a "joint commitment". A joint commitment in Gilbert's sense is not a matter of a set of personal commitments independently created by each of the participants, as when each makes a personal decision to do something. Rather, it is a single commitment to whose creation each participant makes a contribution. Thus suppose that one person says "Shall we go for a walk?" and the other says "Yes, let's". Gilbert proposes that as a result of this exchange the parties are jointly committed to go for a walk, and thereby obligated to one another to act as if they were parts of a single person taking a walk. Joint commitments can be created less explicitly and through processes that are more extended in time. One merit of a joint commitment account of collective action, in Gilbert's view, is that it explains the fact that those who are out on a walk together, for instance, understand that each of them is in a position to demand corrective action of the other if he or she acts in ways that affect negatively the completion of their walk. In (Gilbert 2006a) she discusses the pertinence of joint commitment to collective actions in the sense of the theory of rational choice.

In Searle (1990) Searle argues that what lies at the heart of a collective action is the presence in the mind of each participant of a "we-intention". Searle does not give an account of we-intentions or, as he also puts it, "collective intentionality", but insists that they are distinct from the "I-intentions" that animate the actions of persons acting alone.

In Bratman (1993) Bratman proposed that, roughly, two people "share an intention" to paint a house together when each intends that the house is painted by virtue of the activity of each, and also intends that it is so painted by virtue of the intention of each that it is so painted. That these conditions obtain must also be "common knowledge" between the participants.

Discussion in this area continues to expand, and has influenced discussions in other disciplines including anthropology, developmental psychology, and economics. One general question is whether it is necessary to think in terms that go beyond the personal intentions of individual human beings properly to characterize what it is to act together. Bratman's account does not go beyond such personal intentions. Gilbert's account, with its invocation of joint commitment, does go beyond them. Searle's account does also, with its invocation of collective intentionality. The question of whether and how one must account for the existence of mutual obligations when there is a collective intention is another of the issues in this area of inquiry.

Spontaneous consensus

In addition to the psychological mechanisms of collective action as explained by the social identity model, researchers have developed sociological models of why collective action exists and have studied under what conditions collective action emerges.[14] Along this social dimension, a special case of the general collective action problem is one of collective agreement: how does a group of agents (humans, animals, robots, etc.) reach consensus about a decision or belief in the absence of central organization? Common examples can be found from domains as diverse as biology (flocking, shoaling and schooling, and general collective animal behavior), economics (stock market bubbles), and sociology (social conventions and norms) among others.

Consensus is distinct from the collective action problem in that there often is not an explicit goal, benefit, or cost of action but rather it concerns itself with a social equilibrium of the individuals involved (and their beliefs). And it can be considered spontaneous when it emerges without the presence of a centralized institution among self-interested individuals.[15]


Spontaneous consensus can be considered along 4 dimensions involving the social structure of the individuals participating (local versus global) in the consensus as well as the processes (competitive vs cooperative) involved in reaching consensus:[14]

  • Competitive
  • Cooperative
  • Local
  • Global

Competitive versus cooperative

The underlying processes of spontaneous consensus can be viewed either as cooperation among individuals trying to coordinate themselves through their interactions or as competition between the alternatives or choices to be decided upon.[14] Depending on the dynamics of the individuals involved as well as the context of the alternatives considered for consensus, the process can be wholly cooperative, wholly competitive, or a mix of the two.

Local versus global

The distinction between local and global consensus can be viewed in terms of the social structure underlying the network of individuals participating in the consensus making process. Local consensus occurs when there is agreement between groups of neighboring nodes while global consensus refers to the state in which most of the population has reached an agreement.[14] How and why consensus is reached is dependent on both the structure of the social network of individuals as well as the presence (or lack) of centralized institutions.

Equilibrium mechanisms

There are many mechanisms (social and psychological) that have been identified to underlie the consensus making process.[14] They have been used to both explain the emergence of spontaneous consensus and understand how to facilitate an equilibrium between individuals and can be grouped according to their role in the process.

  • Facilitation of Equilibrium
  • Selection of Alternatives
    • Logical Reflection[20]
    • Psychological and shared biases[18]
    • Chance (when all alternatives are equivalent)[21]

Methods and techniques

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of both the mechanisms as well as the applications of spontaneous consensus, a variety of techniques have been developed to study the emergence and evolution of spontaneous cooperation. Two of the most widely used are game theory and social network analysis.

Game theory

Traditionally game theory has been used to study zero-sum games but has been extended to many different types of games. Relevant to the study of spontaneous consensus are cooperative and non-cooperative games. Since a consensus must be reached without the presence of any external authoritative institution for it to be considered spontaneous, non-cooperative games and nash equilibrium have been the dominant paradigm for which to study its emergence.

In the context of non-cooperative games, a consensus is a formal nash equilibrium that all players tend towards through self-enforcing alliances or agreements.

Social network analysis

An alternative approach to studying the emergence of spontaneous consensus—that avoids many of the unnatural or overly constrained assumptions of game theoretic models—is the use of network based methods and social network analysis (SNA). These SNA models are theoretically grounded in the communication mechanism[16] of facilitating consensus and describe its emergence through the information propagation processes of the network (behavioral contagion). Through the spread of influence (and ideas) between agents participating in the consensus, local and global consensus can emerge if the agents in the network achieve a shared equilibrium state. Leveraging this model of consensus, researchers have shown that local peer influence can be used to reach a global consensus and cooperation across the entire network.[22] While this model of consensus and cooperation has been shown to be successful in certain contexts, research suggest that communication and social influence cannot be fully captured by simple contagion models[23] and as such a pure contagion based model of consensus may have limits.

See also


  1. ^ "collective action problem - collective action". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  2. ^ a b c d e f van Zomeren, M.; Postmes, T.; Spears, R. (2008). "Toward an integrative social identity model of collective action: A quantitative research synthesis of three socio-psychological perspectives". Psychological Bulletin. 134 (4): 504–535. CiteSeerX doi:10.1037/0033-2909.134.4.504. PMID 18605818.
  3. ^ Ostrom, Elinor (2000). "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms". The Journal of Economic Perspectives. 14 (3): 137–158. doi:10.1257/jep.14.3.137.
  4. ^ Tajfel, H.; Turner, J.C. (1979). "An integrative theory of inter-group conflict. In W.G. Austin & S. Worchel (Eds.)". The Social Psychology of Inter-group Relations: 33–47.
  5. ^ Stephen C. Wright; Donald M. Taylor; Fathali M. Moghaddam (June 1990). "Responding to Membership in a Disadvantaged Group: From Acceptance to Collective Protest" (Submitted manuscript). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 58 (6): 994–1003. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.58.6.994.
  6. ^ Thomas, E.F.; Mavor, K.I.; McGarty, C. (2011). "Social identities facilitate and encapsulate action-relevant constructs: A test of the social identity model of collective action". Group Processes and Intergroup Relations. 15 (1): 75–88. doi:10.1177/1368430211413619.
  7. ^ Cakal, H.; Hewstone, M.; Schwär, G.; Heath, A. (2011). "An investigation of the social identity model of collective action and the 'sedative' effect of intergroup contact among Black and White students in South Africa". British Journal of Social Psychology. 50 (4): 606–627. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8309.2011.02075.x. PMID 22122025.
  8. ^ van Zomeren, M.; Postmes, T.; Spears, R. (2012). "On conviction's collective consequences: Integrating moral conviction with the social identity model of collective action". British Journal of Social Psychology. 51 (1): 52–71. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8309.2010.02000.x. PMID 22435846.
  9. ^ Agar, Jesse. "Tragedy of the Commons │ The Problem with Open Access". Youtube. This Place (youtube channel). Retrieved Jun 9, 2015.
  10. ^ Dowding, Keith (1996). Power. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 31&nbsp, ff. ISBN 978-0-8166-2941-1
  11. ^ van den Akker, Ron. "Crowdacting". YouTube. Bord&Stift. Retrieved Sep 7, 2016.
  12. ^ Olson, Mancur (1965). "logic of collective action: Public goods and the theory of groups". Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press
  13. ^ Buchanan, James M. (1965). "An Economic Theory of Clubs". Economica. 32 (125): 1–14. doi:10.2307/2552442. JSTOR 2552442.
  14. ^ a b c d e Baronchelli, Andrea (2017). "The Emergence of Consensus". Royal Society Open Science. 5 (2): 172189. arXiv:1704.07767. Bibcode:2018RSOS....572189B. doi:10.1098/rsos.172189. PMC 5830794. PMID 29515905. Check date values in: |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  15. ^ Sugden, Robert (1989). "Spontaneous order". The Journal of Economic Perspectives. 3 (4): 85–97. doi:10.1257/jep.3.4.85.
  16. ^ a b Garrod, Simon; Doherty, Gwyneth (1994). "Conversation, co-ordination and convention: An empirical investigation of how groups establish linguistic conventions". Cognition. 53 (3): 181–215. doi:10.1016/0010-0277(94)90048-5. PMID 7842633.
  17. ^ Boyd, Robert; Richerson, Peter (1992). "Punishment allows the evolution of cooperation (or anything else) in sizable groups". Ethology and Sociobiology. 13 (3): 171–195. doi:10.1016/0162-3095(92)90032-Y.
  18. ^ a b Schelling, Thomas (1960). The strategy of conflict. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674840317.
  19. ^ Asch, Solomon (1955). "Opinions and social pressure". In Aronson, Elliot. Readings about the social animal. Macmillan. pp. 17–26. ISBN 9780716759669.
  20. ^ Harsanyi, John; Selten, Reinhard (1988). A general theory of equilibrium selection in games. MIT Press Books. p. 1. ISBN 9780262582384.
  21. ^ Young, H Peyton (1996). "The economics of convention". The Journal of Economic Perspectives. 10 (2): 105–122. doi:10.1257/jep.10.2.105. JSTOR 2138484.
  22. ^ Mani, Ankur; Rahwan, Iyad; Pentland, Alex (2013). "Inducing Peer Pressure to Promote Cooperation". Scientific Reports. 3 (1735): 1735. Bibcode:2013NatSR...3E1735M. doi:10.1038/srep01735. PMC 3636514. PMID 23619166.
  23. ^ Alshamsi, Aamena; Pianesi, Fabio; Lepri, Bruno; Pentland, Alex; Rahwan, Iyad (2015). "Beyond Contagion: Reality Mining Reveals Complex Patterns of Social Influence". PLOS ONE. 10 (8): e0135740. arXiv:1507.04192. Bibcode:2015PLoSO..1035740A. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0135740. PMC 4551670. PMID 26313449.


  • Bratman, Michael (October 1993). "Shared intention". Ethics. 104 (1): 97–113. doi:10.1086/293577. JSTOR 2381695.
  • Dolata, Ulrich; Schrape, Jan-Felix (2015). "Masses, Crowds, Communities, Movements: Collective Action in the Internet Age". Social Movement Studies. 15: 1–18. doi:10.1080/14742837.2015.1055722.
  • Dolata, Ulrich; Schrape, Jan-Felix (2018). Collectivity and Power on the Internet. A Sociological Perspective. London Cham: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-78414-4. ISBN 9783319784137.
  • Gilbert, Margaret (1989). On social facts. London New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415024440.
  • Gilbert, Margaret (2006a). "Rationality in Collective Action". Philosophy of the Social Sciences. 36 (1): 3–17. doi:10.1177/0048393105284167
  • Gilbert, Margaret (2006). A theory of political obligation : membership, commitment, and the bonds of society. Oxford Oxford New York: Clarendon Press Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199274956.
  • Hardin, Russell (1982). Collective action. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 9780801828195.
  • Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; di Gregorio, Monica, eds. (2004). Collective action and property rights for sustainable development. Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute. 2020 Focus No. 11. Pdf.
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  • Ostrom, Elinor (1990). Governing the commons: the evolution of institutions for collective action. Cambridge New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521405997.
  • Searle, John R. (2002), "Collective intentions and actions", in Searle, John R., Consciousness and language, New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 90–105, ISBN 9780521597449.
  • van Winden, Frans (December 2015). "Political economy with affect: on the role of emotions and relationships in political economics". European Journal of Political Economy. 40 (B): 298–311. doi:10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2015.05.005.

Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct, or intervene in social, political, economic, or environmental reform with the desire to make changes in society. Forms of activism range from mandate building in the community (including writing letters to newspapers), petitioning elected officials, running or contributing to a political campaign, preferential patronage (or boycott) of businesses, and demonstrative forms of activism like rallies, street marches, strikes, sit-ins, or hunger strikes.

Activism may be performed on a day-to-day basis in a wide variety of ways, including through the creation of art (artivism), computer hacking (hacktivism), or simply in how one chooses to spend their money (economic activism). For example, the refusal to buy clothes or other merchandise from a company as a protest against the exploitation of workers by that company could be considered an expression of activism. However, the most highly visible and impactful activism often comes in the form of collective action, in which numerous individuals coordinate an act of protest together in order to make a bigger impact. Collective action that is purposeful, organized, and sustained over a period of time becomes known as a social movement.Historically, activists have used literature, including pamphlets, tracts, and books to disseminate their messages and attempt to persuade their readers of the justice of their cause. Research has now begun to explore how contemporary activist groups use social media to facilitate civic engagement and collective action combining politics with technology.The Online Etymology Dictionary records the English words "activism" and "activist" as in use in the political sense from the year 1920 or 1915 respectively.


Advocacy is an activity by an individual or group which aims to influence decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions. Advocacy can include many activities that a person or organization undertakes including media campaigns, public speaking, commissioning and publishing research or conducting exit poll or the filing of an amicus brief. Lobbying (often by lobby groups) is a form of advocacy where a direct approach is made to legislators on an issue which plays a significant role in modern politics. Research has started to address how advocacy groups in the United States and Canada are using social media to facilitate civic engagement and collective action.

An advocate is someone who provides advocacy support to people who need it.


Anti-corruption (or anticorruption) comprises activities that oppose or inhibit corruption. Just as corruption takes many forms, anti-corruption efforts vary in scope and in strategy. A general distinction between preventive and reactive measures is sometimes drawn. In such framework, investigative authorities and their attempts to unveil corrupt practices would be considered reactive, while education on the negative impact of corruption, or firm-internal compliance programs are classified as the former. Legal and moral frameworks to reduce corruption date back to antiquity and gained broad international support since the last decade of the 20th century.

Collective action problem

A collective action problem is a situation in which all individuals would be better off cooperating but fail to do so because of conflicting interests between individuals that discourage joint action. The collective action problem has been addressed in political philosophy for centuries, but was most clearly established in 1965 in Mancur Olson's The Logic of Collective Action. The collective action problem can be observed today in many areas of study, and is particularly relevant to economic concepts such as game theory and the free-rider problem that results from the provision of public goods. Additionally, the collective problem can be applied to numerous public policy concerns that countries across the world currently face.

Common-pool resource

In economics, a common-pool resource (CPR) is a type of good consisting of a natural or human-made resource system (e.g. an irrigation system or fishing grounds), whose size or characteristics makes it costly, but not impossible, to exclude potential beneficiaries from obtaining benefits from its use. Unlike pure public goods, common pool resources face problems of congestion or overuse, because they are subtractable. A common-pool resource typically consists of a core resource (e.g. water or fish), which defines the stock variable, while providing a limited quantity of extractable fringe units, which defines the flow variable. While the core resource is to be protected or nurtured in order to allow for its continuous exploitation, the fringe units can be harvested or consumed.

Commonwealth Club Address

The Commonwealth Club Address (23 September 1932) was a speech made by New York Governor and Democratic presidential nominee Franklin Delano Roosevelt in San Francisco on his 1932 presidential campaign. Roosevelt said the era of growth and unrestricted entrepreneurship had ended, and the individualism must give way to collective action. He was not at all specific, but he hinted at liberal reforms of the sort that emerged in The First Hundred Days after his inauguration in March 1933. Scholars rate it among the 100 greatest speeches made by a President in the 20th century.

Critical mass (sociodynamics)

In social dynamics, critical mass is a sufficient number of adopters of an innovation in a social system so that the rate of adoption becomes self-sustaining and creates further growth. The term is borrowed from nuclear physics and in that field it refers to the amount of a substance needed to sustain a chain reaction.

Social factors influencing critical mass may involve the size, interrelatedness and level of communication in a society or one of its subcultures. Another is social stigma, or the possibility of public advocacy due to such a factor.

Critical mass may be closer to majority consensus in political circles, where the most effective position is more often that held by the majority of people in society. In this sense, small changes in public consensus can bring about swift changes in political consensus, due to the majority-dependent effectiveness of certain ideas as tools of political debate.Critical mass is a concept used in a variety of contexts, including physics, group dynamics, politics, public opinion, and technology.

Gawker Media

Gawker Media LLC (formerly Blogwire, Inc. and Gawker Media, Inc.) was an online media company and blog network.

It was founded by Nick Denton in October 2003 as Blogwire, and is based in New York City. Incorporated in the Cayman Islands, as of 2012, Gawker Media was the parent company for seven different weblogs and many subsites under them:, Deadspin, Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Kotaku, Jalopnik, and Jezebel. All Gawker articles are licensed on a Creative Commons attribution-noncommercial license. In 2004, the company renamed from Blogwire, Inc. to Gawker Media, Inc., and to Gawker Media LLC shortly after.In 2016, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as a direct result of the monetary judgement against the company related to the Hulk Hogan sex tape lawsuit. On August 16, 2016, Gawker and all its brands were acquired at auction by Univision Communications. Two days later on August 18, the company announced that would cease operations the following week, while its other sites will continue to operate.On September 21, 2016, Gawker Media's assets except for Gawker were purchased by Univision Communications and have been moved to Gizmodo Media Group.

International AIDS Society

The International AIDS Society (IAS) is an association of HIV professionals, with 11,035 members from more than 160 countries working at all levels of the global HIV response. Its mission is to lead collective action on every front through its membership base, scientific authority and convening power. IAS members include researchers from all disciplines, clinicians, public health and community practitioners on the frontlines of the epidemic, as well as policy makers and programme implementers.

The IAS is the steward of the world's two most prestigious HIV conferences: the biennial International AIDS Conference and the IAS Conference on HIV Science.

The current IAS President is Anton Pozniak. Past presidents have included Helene D. Gayle, Joep Lange, Peter Piot, Linda-Gail Bekker and Françoise Barré-Sinoussi. The IAS's headquarters are located in Geneva.

Mancur Olson

Mancur Lloyd Olson Jr. ( or ; January 22, 1932 – February 19, 1998) was an American economist and social scientist who taught economics at the University of Maryland, College Park. His most influential contributions were in institutional economics, and in the role which private property, taxation, public goods, collective action, and contract rights play in economic development.

Mass collaboration

Mass collaboration is a form of collective action that occurs when large numbers of people work independently on a single project, often modular in its nature. Such projects typically take place on the internet using social software and computer-supported collaboration tools such as wiki technologies, which provide a potentially infinite hypertextual substrate within which the collaboration may be situated.

Minnesota Public Interest Research Group

The Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (also known as MPIRG) describes itself as "a grassroots, non-partisan, nonprofit, student-directed organization that empowers and trains students and engages the community to take collective action in the public interest throughout the state of Minnesota." [1]

National Association of Independent Schools

The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) is a U.S.-based membership organization for private, nonprofit, K-12 schools. Founded in 1963, NAIS represents independent schools and associations in the United States, including day, boarding, and day/boarding schools; elementary and secondary schools; boys', girls', and coeducational schools. NAIS has affiliate members internationally as well.

NAIS's mission is to be the national voice of independent schools and the center for collective action on their behalf.

Normalization process theory

Normalization process theory (NPT) is a derivative sociological theory of the implementation, embedding, and integration of new technologies and organizational innovations developed originally from a collective set of learning workshops and included a large number of people including Carl R. May, Tracy Finch, Elizabeth Murray, Anne Rogers, Catherine Pope, Anne Kennedy, Pauline Ong and . The theory is a contribution to the field of science and technology studies (STS), and is the result of a programme of theory building by May and a range of academics from applied social science to medicine. Through three iterations, the theory has built upon the normalization process model previously developed by May et al. to explain the social processes that lead to the routine embedding of innovative health technologies.Normalization process theory focuses attention on agentic contributions – the things that individuals and groups do to operationalize new or modified modes of practice as they interact with dynamic elements of their environments. It defines the implementation, embedding, and integration as a process that occurs when participants deliberately initiate and seek to sustain a sequence of events that bring it into operation. The dynamics of implementation processes are complex, but normalization process theory facilitates understanding by focusing attention on the mechanisms through which participants invest and contribute to them. It reveals "the work that actors do as they engage with some ensemble of activities (that may include new or changed ways of thinking, acting, and organizing) and by which means it becomes routinely embedded in the matrices of already existing, socially patterned, knowledge and practices". These have explored objects, agents, and contexts. In a paper published under a creative commons license, May and colleagues describe how, since 2006, NPT has undergone three iterations.

Objects. The first iteration of the theory focused attention on the relationship between the properties of a complex healthcare intervention and the collective action of its users. Here, agents' contributions are made in reciprocal relationship with the emergent capability that they find in the objects – the ensembles of behavioural and cognitive practices – that they enact. These socio-material capabilities are governed by the possibilities and constraints presented by objects, and the extent to which they can be made workable and integrated in practice as they are mobilized.

Agents. The second iteration of the theory built on the analysis of collective action, and showed how this was linked to the mechanisms through which people make their activities meaningful and build commitments to them. Here, investments of social structural and social cognitive resources are expressed as emergent contributions to social action through a set of generative mechanisms: coherence (what people do to make sense of objects, agency, and contexts); cognitive participation (what people do to initiate and be enrolled into delivering an ensemble of practices); collective action (what people do to enact those practices); and reflexive monitoring (what people do to appraise the consequences of their contributions). These constructs are the core of the theory, and provide the foundation of its analytic purchase on practice.

Contexts. The third iteration of the theory developed the analysis of agentic contributions by offering an account of centrally important structural and cognitive resources on which agents draw as they take action. Here, dynamic elements of social contexts are experienced by agents as capacity (the social structural resources, that they possess, including informational and material resources, and social norms and roles) and potential (the social cognitive resources that they possess, including knowledge and beliefs, and individual intentions and shared commitments). These resources are mobilized by agents when they invest in the ensembles of practices that are the objects of implementation.Normalization process theory is regarded as a middle range theory that is located within the 'turn to materiality' in STS. It therefore fits well with the case-study oriented approach to empirical investigation used in STS. It also appears to be a straightforward alternative to actor–network theory in that it does not insist on the agency of non-human actors, and seeks to be explanatory rather than descriptive. However, because normalization process theory specifies a set of generative mechanisms that empirical investigation has shown to be relevant to implementation and integration of new technologies, it can also be used in larger scale structured and comparative studies. Although it fits well with the interpretive approach of ethnography and other qualitative research methods, it also lends itself to systematic review and survey research methods. As a middle range theory, it can be federated with other theories to explain empirical phenomena. It is compatible with theories of the transmission and organization of innovations, especially diffusion of innovations theory, labor process theory, and psychological theories including the theory of planned behavior and social learning theory.


Rebellion, uprising, or insurrection is a refusal of obedience or order. It refers to the open resistance against the orders of an established authority. The term comes from the Latin verb rebellō, "I renew war" (from re- ("again") + bellō ("I wage war/I revolt"). The rebel is the individual that partakes in rebellion or rebellious activities, particularly when armed. Thus, the term rebellion also refers to the ensemble of rebels in a state of revolt.

A rebellion originates from a sentiment of indignation and disapproval of a situation and then manifests itself by the refusal to submit or to obey the authority responsible for this situation. Rebellion can be individual or collective, peaceful (civil disobedience, civil resistance, and nonviolent resistance) or violent (terrorism, sabotage and guerrilla warfare.)

In political terms, rebellion and revolt are often distinguished by their different aims. If rebellion generally seeks to evade and/or gain concessions from an oppressive power, a revolt seeks to overthrow and destroy that power, as well as its accompanying laws. The goal of rebellion is resistance while a revolt seeks a revolution. As power shifts relative to the external adversary, or power shifts within a mixed coalition, or positions harden or soften on either side, an insurrection may seesaw between the two forms.


Regionalism may refer to:

Regionalism (art), an American realist modern art movement that was popular during the 1930s

Regionalism (international relations), the expression of a common sense of identity and purpose combined with the creation and implementation of institutions that express a particular identity and shape collective action within a geographical region

Regionalism (politics), a political ideology that focuses on the interests of a particular region or group of regions, whether traditional or formal

Critical regionalism, in architecture, an approach that strives to counter placelessness and lack of identity in modern architecture by using the building's geographical context

Social movement

A social movement is a type of group action. Social movements can be defined as "organizational structures and strategies that may empower oppressed populations to mount effective challenges and resist the more powerful and advantaged elites". They are large, sometimes informal, groupings of individuals or organizations which focus on specific political or social issues. In other words, they carry out, resist, or undo a social change. They provide a way of social change from the bottom within nations.Modern Western social movements became possible through education (the wider dissemination of literature) and increased mobility of labor due to the industrialization and urbanization of 19th-century societies. It is sometimes argued that the freedom of expression, education and relative economic independence prevalent in the modern Western culture are responsible for the unprecedented number and scope of various contemporary social movements. However, others point out that many of the social movements of the last hundred years grew up, like the Mau Mau in Kenya, to oppose Western colonialism. Either way, social movements have been and continued to be closely connected with democratic political systems. Occasionally, social movements have been involved in democratizing nations, but more often they have flourished after democratization. Over the past 200 years, they have become part of a popular and global expression of dissent.Modern movements often utilize technology and the internet to mobilize people globally. Adapting to communication trends is a common theme among successful movements. Research is beginning to explore how advocacy organizations linked to social movements in the U.S. and Canada use social media to facilitate civic engagement and collective action. The systematic literature review of Buettner & Buettner analyzed the role of Twitter during a wide range of social movements (2007 WikiLeaks, 2009 Moldova, 2009 Austria student protest, 2009 Israel-Gaza, 2009 Iran green revolution, 2009 Toronto G20, 2010 Venezuela, 2010 Germany Stuttgart21, 2011 Egypt, 2011 England, 2011 US Occupy movement, 2011 Spain Indignados, 2011 Greece Aganaktismenoi movements, 2011 Italy, 2011 Wisconsin labor protests, 2012 Israel Hamas, 2013 Brazil Vinegar, 2013 Turkey).Political science and sociology have developed a variety of theories and empirical research on social movements. For example, some research in political science highlights the relation between popular movements and the formation of new political parties as well as discussing the function of social movements in relation to agenda setting and influence on politics.

Tax riot

The anti-fiscal riot is a form of popular protest very common during the Ancien Régime, the bourgeois revolutions, and the 19th century, characterized by the use of direct collective action to prevent the collection of taxes.

The Logic of Collective Action

The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups is a book by Mancur Olson, Jr. published in 1965. It develops a theory of political science and economics of concentrated benefits versus diffuse costs. Its central argument is that concentrated minor interests will be overrepresented and diffuse majority interests trumped, due to a free-rider problem that is stronger when a group becomes larger.

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