14 lessons for social movement success

Brief #2022-1

Version Number: 1.0

January 21, 2022

Amy Janzwood

This Brief summarizes lessons from the academic literature for building successful social movements. It outlines several core insights with an eye on their practical application for social movements, advocacy campaigns, and their supporters. Applying any of these lessons does not guarantee that a social movement or a particular campaign will succeed. However, leveraging multiple strategies simultaneously greatly increases a movement’s chances of success.

Dr. Amy Janzwood is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia and a visiting fellow at the University of Victoria’s Centre for Global Studies. Her work explores the contested politics of fossil fuel production and the policy pathways that move us towards decarbonization. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Environmental Studies from the University of Toronto.

Image: “Evening #stopAdani climate Protest in Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg’s Kooyong electorate – 16 June 2017” by John Englart (Takver) is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.