Organising for power: solidarities and transformation

James Goodman


Political and social movements are both empowering and power-seeking: they seek both to mobilize civil society and overwhelm state institutions. As organisations they mobilize collective power, generating solidarities and transforming social structures. As such, political organisations both challenge power and exercise power. This article addresses organizational vehicles for political change in Australia, drawing out limits and possibilities. Three organizational forms are discussed - the political party, the non-government organization (NGO), and the social movement - in terms of their capacity and limits. The social solidarities and social structures that frame political organization are debated, highlighting the impact of political conflicts over ecological change. The article ends with a discussion of the proceeding four articles, drawing out shared themes and implications in terms of the relationships post-Howard, between the Australian state, political parties, NGOs and movements.

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