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The Process of Donor Funding as the Cause of Social Movement Decline: A Case Study of the Barabaig Land Rights Movement in Tanzania

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Abstract:

Contrary to the logic of resource mobilization and other social movement theories, international donor funding to grassroots social movements seem to be correlated with movement decline in many East African cases. This begs the simple question "can more money really be bad"? Using the Barabaig indigenous land reclamation movement in Tanzania as the primary case study (but also drawing on comparisons of other indigenous rights movements from the region), this paper seeks to establish whether there is a causal link between increased international donor funding and demobilization, a link that, if proven to exist, can help us to better theorize social movement decline in this subset of movements. The paper brings together the literatures on cycles of contention (especially the works of Tilly and Tarrow) with the literature on donor funding of NGOs in the third world in order to identify and frame the specific causal mechanisms and processes that led to decline in the Barabaig movement.

It will be argued here that, contrary to popular scholarly logic regarding the link between resources and social movement maintenance, the Barabaig land rights movement demobilization was largely caused by the influx of international donor funding. This is because the particularities of the funding process and the conditionalities attached to the funds set in motion other mechanisms that combined into processes, most notably professionalization of the social movement organization and the disillusionment of members due to leadership alienation, that ultimately lead to a drop off in popular participation and the demobilization of the Barabaig movement. The discrepancy between the positive view of resource acquisition in traditional social movement theory and the realities of the Barabaig case study is largely due to the fact that most theories of social movements do not sufficiently disaggregate different types of resources, do not allow for the possibility of various resources fluctuating independently of each other, and do not analyze the process or resource acquisition itself. Therefore, this paper seeks to correct these oversights by examining how the method through which a social movement secures resources can affect the nature, and ultimate survivability, of the direct action branch of the movement itself.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

movement (220), barabaig (136), donor (111), fund (95), land (70), resourc (67), process (64), case (63), social (62), develop (62), right (59), demobil (58), leader (52), organ (51), communiti (46), igo (43), ngos (42), intern (42), studi (41), polit (37), govern (35),

Author's Keywords:

social movements, Africa, pastoralists, international donor funding
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Association:
Name: Midwest Political Science Association
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http://www.indiana.edu/~mpsa/


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p197933_index.html
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MLA Citation:

McKie, Kristin. "The Process of Donor Funding as the Cause of Social Movement Decline: A Case Study of the Barabaig Land Rights Movement in Tanzania" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Palmer House Hotel, Chicago, IL, Apr 12, 2007 <Not Available>. 2013-12-16 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p197933_index.html>

APA Citation:

McKie, K. A. , 2007-04-12 "The Process of Donor Funding as the Cause of Social Movement Decline: A Case Study of the Barabaig Land Rights Movement in Tanzania" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Palmer House Hotel, Chicago, IL Online <PDF>. 2013-12-16 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p197933_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Contrary to the logic of resource mobilization and other social movement theories, international donor funding to grassroots social movements seem to be correlated with movement decline in many East African cases. This begs the simple question "can more money really be bad"? Using the Barabaig indigenous land reclamation movement in Tanzania as the primary case study (but also drawing on comparisons of other indigenous rights movements from the region), this paper seeks to establish whether there is a causal link between increased international donor funding and demobilization, a link that, if proven to exist, can help us to better theorize social movement decline in this subset of movements. The paper brings together the literatures on cycles of contention (especially the works of Tilly and Tarrow) with the literature on donor funding of NGOs in the third world in order to identify and frame the specific causal mechanisms and processes that led to decline in the Barabaig movement.

It will be argued here that, contrary to popular scholarly logic regarding the link between resources and social movement maintenance, the Barabaig land rights movement demobilization was largely caused by the influx of international donor funding. This is because the particularities of the funding process and the conditionalities attached to the funds set in motion other mechanisms that combined into processes, most notably professionalization of the social movement organization and the disillusionment of members due to leadership alienation, that ultimately lead to a drop off in popular participation and the demobilization of the Barabaig movement. The discrepancy between the positive view of resource acquisition in traditional social movement theory and the realities of the Barabaig case study is largely due to the fact that most theories of social movements do not sufficiently disaggregate different types of resources, do not allow for the possibility of various resources fluctuating independently of each other, and do not analyze the process or resource acquisition itself. Therefore, this paper seeks to correct these oversights by examining how the method through which a social movement secures resources can affect the nature, and ultimate survivability, of the direct action branch of the movement itself.

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Document Type: PDF
Page count: 38
Word count: 11514
Text sample:
The Process of Donor Funding as the Cause of Movement Demobilization: A Case Study of the Barabaig Land Rights Movement in Tanzania Kristin A. McKie Department of Government Cornell University Spring 2007 Introduction Nairobi in the mid-1980s was the site of much public defiance in opposition to arbitrary detentions of regime opponents the stripping of liberties such a free speech and other human rights abuses propagated by the Kenyan government upon its citizens. Underground activists students lawyers and religious
39 1 published by Cambridge University Press United Nations. 2005. “NGOs and the United Nations Department of Public Information: Some Questions and Answers” Published by the Outreach Division United Nations Department of Public Information Non-Governmental Organizations Section: http://www.un.org/dpi/ngosection/brochure.htm (updated 11/2005) 37 Vivian Jessica. 1994. "NGOs and sustainable development." In Dharam Ghai ed. Development and Environment: sustaining people and nature Blackwell Publishers Oxford van de Walle Nicolas. 2001 African Economies and The Politics of permanent Crisis. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge


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