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date: 07 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that the study of the emergence, mobilization, and success of social movements should be enriched from existing research on volunteering, civic engagement, and the non-profit sector. To this end, it outlines what social movement studies can learn from theories of volunteering and civic engagement by presenting various approaches to why people come active, and points to the added value of voluntary research for social movement studies with two illustrative case studies: the success of the US civil rights movement and the emergence of the Green party in Germany. The chapter seeks to demonstrate that the development of common and more integrated research agendas allows for a more comprehensive picture of the various ways through which people come together, organize collectively, and secure and fuel social change. As such, it endorses the more recent cross-disciplinary dialogue between social movement studies and voluntary research.

Keywords: social movements, voluntary research, volunteering, voluntary organizations, non-profit organizations, NGOs, civil society

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