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Radical Flank Effects

  1. Herbert H. Haines

Published Online: 14 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470674871.wbespm174

The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements

How to Cite

Haines, H. H. 2013. Radical Flank Effects. The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 JAN 2013


Radical flank effects (RFEs) are interactive processes involving radical and moderate factions of social movements and third parties outside those movements. They result in detrimental and/or beneficial impacts of radical group actions upon the reputations and effectiveness of more moderate collective actors — typically social movement organizations. The relative “radicalism” or “moderation” of actors is generally defined in terms of the degree of legitimacy that is imputed to their objectives, rhetoric, and tactics by relevant external audiences. Radical flank effects were first studied systematically by Haines (1984, 1988) in his investigations of the American civil rights/black power movements, but other scholars had made reference to RFE-like phenomena in earlier works on the civil rights (Killian 1975), feminist (Freeman 1975), labor (Ramirez 1978) and antinuclear (Barkan 1979) movements.


  • movements;
  • radicalism;
  • resource mobilization