Networks, Diffusion, and Cycles of Collective Action

Pamela E. Oliver and Daniel J. Myers

in Social Movements and Networks

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780199251780
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599057 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

 Networks, Diffusion, and Cycles of Collective Action

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Uses simulation models to explore network mechanisms in diffusion processes and protest cycles. The network dimension is taken into account, focusing on three processes: information flows, influence flows, and the construction of joint action. The repeatable and reversible nature of protest requires models of diffusion that focus on the spread of actions and not the spread of ideas across actors. Moreover, while diffusion processes tend to generate waves or cycles of events, not all waves of events arise from diffusion processes. The effect of network structure varies greatly depending upon the nature of a particular network process.

Keywords: collective action; diffusion processes; influence; information flows; protest cycles; simulation models; social networks

Chapter.  12498 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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