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Introduction to the Social and Psychological Dynamics of Collective Action


  • We would like to thank all the contributors for their hard work, patience, and enthusiasm throughout the process of putting this volume together. We would also like to thank our colleagues who kindly provided useful feedback on the articles: Naomi Ellemers, John Drury, Matthew Hornsey, Jolanda Jetten, Winnifred Louis, Joanne Smith, and members of the JSI Editorial Board.

*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Martijn van Zomeren, Department of Social Psychology, University of Groningen, 9712 TS Groningen, The Netherlands [e-mail:].


Collective action is one of the core mechanisms of social change, and thus of major importance to social scientists, practitioners, and policy-makers. Our goal in editing this issue is to bring together recent advances on the social and psychological dynamics of collective action among members of disadvantaged as well as advantaged groups. This article introduces the contributions to this issue after a brief review of the major psychological perspectives on collective action (social identity, relative deprivation, and resource mobilization theories), and a discussion of the considerable diversity in collective action research in terms of contexts, populations, and measures. We hope that this issue contributes to a more multi-faceted and integrative understanding of the social and psychological dynamics of collective action in terms of theory, research, policy, and practice.