The handbook presents a most updated and comprehensive exploration of social movement research it not only maps but also expands the field of social movement studies taking stock of recent developments in cognate areas of studies within and beyond sociology and political science. This article explores the overlap between the concepts of social movements and civil society in the social science literatures it considers both differences and similarities in their conceptualization as well as in the actual evolution of the social actors that have been identified and recognized as social movements and as civil society it . This chapter examines political sciences most important contributions to the study of social movements by tracing broader research traditions back to the founding fathers of the social sciences such as james madison karl marx karl polanyi max weber and alexis de tocqueville. The oxford handbook of social movements is an innovative volume that presents a comprehensive exploration of social movement studies mapping the field and expanding it to examine the recent developments in cognate areas of studies within and beyond sociology and political science. Social movements have developed a complex link with social theory over time within the western tradition of social thought it has offered a series of ideas identifying a problem such as marx idea of class consciousness and ideas that have been taken up much later in doing social movement research such as durkheims ideas on the role of
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