'Dynamics of Contention - written by three of the leading scholars of social movements and 'contentious politics' - is undoubtedly the most ambitious, and arguably the most important, book on social movements (and related phenomena) written in the past two decades.' Sociology
Over the past two decades the study of social movements, revolution, democratization and other forms of nonroutine, or "contentious politics," has flourished as never before. And yet theory and research on the topic remain highly fragmented. The first of these divisions reflects the long-standing view that various forms of contention are indeed distinct and should be studied independent of others. A second traditional approach to the study of political contention denies the possibility of general theory, in deference to a thorough grounding in the temporal and spatial particulars of any given episode of contention. Finally, overlaid on these two divisions are stylized theoretical traditions--structuralist, culturalist, and rationalist--that have developed largely in isolation from one another.