Contemporary articles citing Snow D (1986) Am Sociol Rev

action, collective, movements, public, movement, cultural, institutional, framing, processes, change

Hart-Brinson, Peter. 2012. "Civic Recreation and a Theory of Civic Production." Sociological Theory. 30:2 130-147. Link
The debate on civic decline inspired by Putnam's ``bowling alone'' thesis exposed an important limitation in three dominant conceptions of the civic. Whether conceptualized as a locus, type, or motivation for action, the boundaries distinguishing the civic from other categories of political action are permeable and indistinct. This article develops a theory of civic production to better account for the inherent normativity and ``porousness'' of this analytic category. I conceptualize the civic as a variable, contingent outcome or product of a contentious performance undertaken in some venue for some reason. The phenomenon of ``civic recreation,'' a form of fund-raising that combines a leisure activity with a public cause, underscores the necessity of a theory of civic production. I draw from social movement theory and from ethnographic data from one fitness fund-raiser to illustrate some of the key processes and outcomes for which a theory of civic production must account.

Armstrong, Elizabeth & Mary Bernstein. 2008. "Culture, Power, and Institutions: a Multi-institutional Politics Approach to Social Movements." Sociological Theory. 26:1 74-99. Link
We argue that critiques of political process theory are beginning to coalesce into a new approach to social movements-a ``multi-institutional politics'' approach. While the political process model assumes that domination is organized by and around one source of power, the alternative perspective views domination as organized around multiple sources of power, each of which is simultaneously material and symbolic. We examine the conceptions of social movements, politics, actors, goals, and strategies supported by each model, demonstrating that the view of society and power underlying the political process model is too narrow to encompass the diversity of contemporary change efforts. Through empirical examples, we demonstrate that the alternative approach provides powerful analytical tools for the analysis of a wide variety of contemporary change efforts.

Vandenberghe, Frederic. 2007. "Avatars of the Collective: a Realist Theory of Collective Subjectivities." Sociological Theory. 25:4 295-324. Link

Garcelon, Marc. 2006. "Trajectories of Institutional Disintegration in Late-soviet Russia and Contemporary Iraq." Sociological Theory. 24:3 255-283. Link
How might revolutions and other processes of institutional disintegration inform political processes preceding them ? By mapping paths of agency through processes of institutional disintegration, the trajectory improvisation model of institutional breakdown overcomes ``action-structure'' binaries by framing political revolutions as possible outcomes of such disintegrative processes. The trajectory improvisation approach expands the trajectory adjustment model of social change developed by Gil Eyal, Ivan Szelenyi, and Eleanor Townsley. An overview of political revolution in Soviet Russia between 1989 and 1991 illustrates trajectory improvisation. The recent American invasion and occupation of Iraq shows alternative routes to institutional disintegration, indicating the independence of models of institutional breakdown from those of social movements. These cases illustrate both the diversity of situations the trajectory improvisation model speaks to, and the limitation of models of trajectory adjustment, improvisation, social movements, and invasions, illustrating why such models at best enable what are called ``explanatory narratives'' of actual historical processes.

Langman, L. 2005. "From Virtual Public Spheres to Global Justice: a Critical Theory of Internetworked Social Movements." Sociological Theory. 23:1 42-74. Link
From the early 1990s when the EZLN (the Zapatistas), led by Subcommandte Marcos, first made use of the Internet to the late 1990s with the defeat of the Multilateral Agreement on Trade and Investment and the anti-WTO protests in Seattle, Quebec, and Genoa, it became evident that new, qualitatively different kinds of social protest movements were emergent. These new movements seemed diffuse and unstructured, yet at the same time, they forged unlikely coalitions of labor, environmentalists, feminists, peace, and global social justice activists collectively critical of the adversities of neoliberal globalization and its associated militarism. Moreover, the rapid emergence and worldwide proliferation of these movements, organized and coordinated through the Internet, raised a number of questions that require rethinking social movement theory. Specifically, the electronic networks that made contemporary globalization possible also led to the emergence of ``virtual public spheres'' and, in turn, ``Internetworked Social Movements.'' Social movement theory has typically focused on local structures, leadership, recruitment, political opportunities, and strategies from framing issues to orchestrating protests. While this tradition still offers valuable insights, we need to examine unique aspects of globalization that prompt such mobilizations, as well as their democratic methods of participatory organization and clever use of electronic media. Moreover, their emancipatory interests become obscured by the ``objective'' methods of social science whose ``neutrality'' belies a tacit assent to the status quo. It will be argued that the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory offers a multi-level, multi-disciplinary approach that considers the role of literacy and media in fostering modernist bourgeois movements as well as anti-modernist fascist movements. This theoretical tradition offers a contemporary framework in which legitimacy crises are discussed and participants arrive at consensual truth claims; in this process, new forms of empowered, activist identities are fostered and negotiated that impel cyberactivism.

Alexander, JC. 2004. "Cultural Pragmatics: Social Performance Between Ritual and Strategy." Sociological Theory. 22:4 527-573. Link
Front its very beginnings, the social study of culture has been polarized between structuralist theories that treat meaning as a text and investigate the patterning that provides relative autonomy and pragmatist theories that treat meaning as emerging from the contingencies of individual and collective action-so-called practices-and that analyze cultural patterns as reflections of power and material interest. In this article, I present a theory of cultural pragmatics that transcends this division, bringing meaning structures, contingency, power, and materiality together in a new way. My argument is that the materiality of practices should be replaced by the more multidimensional concept Of performances. Drawing on the new field of performance studies, cultural pragmatics demonstrates how social performances, whether individual or collective, can be analogized systematically to theatrical ones. After defining the elements of social performance, I suggest that these elements have become ``de-fased'' as societies have become more complex. Performances are successful only insofar as they can ``re-fuse'' these increasingly disentangled elements. In a fused performance, audiences identify with actors, and cultural effective mise-en-scene. Performances fail when this scripts achieve verisimilitude through rethinking process is incomplete: the elements of performance remain, apart, and social action seems inauthentic and artificial, failing to persuade. Refusion, by contrast, allows actors to communicate the meanings of their actions successfully and thus to pursue their interests effectively.

Fine, GA & B Harrington. 2004. "Tiny Publics: Small Groups and Civil Society." Sociological Theory. 22:3 341-356. Link
It has been conventional to conceptualize civic life through one of two core images: the citizen as lone individualist or the citizen as joiner. Drawing on analyses of the historical development of the public sphere, we propose an alternative analytical framework for civic engagement based on small-group interaction. By embracing this micro-level approach, we contribute to the debate on civil society in three ways. By emphasizing local interaction contexts-the microfoundations of civil society-we treat small groups as a cause, context, and consequence of civic engagement. First, through framing and motivating, groups encourage individuals to participate in public discourse and civic projects. Second, they provide the place and support for that involvement. Third, civic engagement feeds back into the creation of additional groups. A small-groups perspective suggests how civil society can thrive even if formal and institutional associations decline. Instead of indicating a decline in civil society, a proliferation of small groups represents a healthy development in democratic societies, creating cross-cutting networks of affiliation.

Platt, GM & RH Williams. 2002. "Ideological Language and Social Movement Mobilization: a Sociolinguistic Analysis of Segregationists' Ideologies." Sociological Theory. 20:3 328-359. Link
The current ``cultural turn `` in the study of social movements has produced a number of concepts formulating the cultural-symbolic dimension of collective actions. This proliferation, however, has resulted in some confusion about which cultural-symbolic concept is best applied to understanding cultural processes involved in social movements. We articulate a new definition of ideology that makes it an empirically useful concept to the study of social-movement mobilization. It is also formulated as autonomous of concepts such as culture and hegemony and of other cultural-symbolic concepts presently used in the movement literature to explain participant mobilization. We demonstrate the usefulness of our ideology concept by analyzing letters written to Martin Luther King, Jr. from segregationists opposed to the integration of American society. The analysis indicates that the letter writers particularized segregationist culture, creating ideologies that fit their structural, cultural, and immediate circumstances, and that the ideologies they constructed thereby acted to mobilize their countermovement participation. The particularizing resulted in four differentiated ideological versions of segregationist culture. The empirically acquired variety of ideological versions is inconsistent with the role attributed to cultural-symbolic concepts in the social-movement literature and requires theoretical clarification. We conclude with a discussion of the theoretical implications,for social-movement theory of the variety of segregationist ideologies.

Summers-Effler, E. 2002. "The Micro Potential for Social Change: Emotion, Consciousness, and Social Movement Formation." Sociological Theory. 20:1 41-60. Link
Can one explain both the resilience of the status quo and the possibility for resistance from a subordinate position? This paper aims to resolve these seemingly incompatible perspectives. By extending Randall Collins's interaction ritual theory, and synthesizing it with Norbert Wiley's model of the self this paper suggests how the emotional dynamics between people and within the self can explain social inertia as well as the possibility for resistance and change. Diverging from literature on the sociology of emotions that has been concerned with individual emotional processes, this paper considers the collective level in order to explore how movement action is motivated. The emotional dynamics of subordinate positioning that limit women's options in face-to-face interactions are examined, as are the social processes of developing feminist consciousness and a willingness to participate in resistance work. Pointing toward empirical applications, I conclude by suggesting conditions where resistance is likely.

Goldberg, CA. 2001. "Welfare Recipients or Workers? Contesting the Workfare State in New York City." Sociological Theory. 19:2 187-218. Link
This paper addresses how New York City's workfare program has structural opportunities for collective action by welfare recipients. As workfare blurs the distinction between wage workers and welfare recipients, it calls into question accepted understandings of the rights and obligations of welfare recipients and fosters new claims on the state. The concept of ``cultural opportunity structures'' can help to explain the political mobilization of workfare participants if it is linked to a Durkheimian tradition of cultural analysis attentive to symbolic classification. The dramaturgic approach to culture exemplified in the work of Erving Goffman can usefully complement this structural approach if a narrow focus on frames and framing process is broadened to include interaction rituals and ceremonial profanation.

Wood, RL. 1999. "Religious Culture and Political Action." Sociological Theory. 17:3 307-332. Link
Recent work by political sociologists and social movement theorists extend our understanding of how religious institutions contribute to expanding democracy, but nearly all analyze religious institutions as institutions; few focus directly on what religion qua religion might contribute. This article strives to illuminate the impact of religious culture per se, extending recent work on religion and democratic life by a small group of social movement scholars trained also in the sociology of religion. In examining religion's democratic impact, an explicitly cultural analysis inspired by the new approach to political culture developed by historical sociologists and cultural analysts of democracy is used to show the power of this approach and to provide a fuller theoretical account of how cultural dynamics shape political outcomes. The article examines religious institutions as generators of religious culture, presents a theoretical model of how religious cultural elements are incorporated into social movements and so shape their internal political cultures, and discusses how this in turn shapes their impact in the public realm. This model is then applied to a key site of democratic struggle: four efforts to promote social justice among low-income urban residents of the United States, including the most widespread such effort-faith-based community organizing.

Eliasoph, N. 1996. "Making a Fragile Public: a Talk-centered Study of Citizenship and Power." Sociological Theory. 14:3 262-289. Link
Understanding how citizens create contexts for open-ended political conversation in everyday life is an important task for social research, The lack of theoretical attention to political conversation in the current renaissance of studies of ``civil society'' and ``the public sphere'' precludes a thoroughly social understanding of civic life. Participant-observation in U.S. recreational, volunteer, and activist groups shows how the very act of speaking itself comes to mean different things in different civic contexts. It shows dramatic contextual shifts-the more public the context, the less public-spirited the discourse. Institutions encouraged groups to avoid public, political conversation. One group challenged the dominant etiquette for citizenship; the others considered talking politics ``out of place'' almost everywhere. The ways groups relate to public speech itself are themselves meaningful; the concept of ``civic practices'' highlights how groups develop not just the power to make a particular political program public, but the power to make the public itself.

Emirbayer, M. 1996. "Useful Durkheim." Sociological Theory. 14:2 109-130. Link
From the mid-1960s through much of the 1980s, Durkheim's contributions to historical-comparative sociology were decidedly marginalized; the title of one of Charles Tilly's essays, ``Useless Durkheim,'' conveys this prevailing sensibility with perfect clarity. Here, ky contrast, I draw upon writings from Durkheim's later ``religious'' period to show how Durkheim has special relevance today for debates in the historical-comparative field. I examine how his substantive writings shed light on current discussions regarding civil society; how his analytical insights help to show how action within civil society as well as other historical contexts is channelled by cultural, social-structural, and social-psychological configurations (plus transformative human agency); and how his ontological commitment to a ``relational social realisin'' contributes to ongoing attempts to rethink the foundations of historical-comparative investigation.

BLAIN, M. 1994. "Power, War, and Melodrama in the Discourses of Political Movements." Theory and Society. 23:6 805-837. Link

Hanagan, M. 1997. "Citizenship, Claim-making, and the Right to Work: Britain, 1884-1911." Theory and Society. 26:4 449-474. Link

Campbell, JL. 1998. "Institutional Analysis and the Role of Ideas in Political Economy." Theory and Society. 27:3 377-409. Link

Emirbayer, M & M Sheller. 1998. "Publics in History." Theory and Society. 27:6 727-779. Link

Donovan, B. 1998. "Political Consequences of Private Authority: Promise Keepers and the Transformation of Hegemonic Masculinity." Theory and Society. 27:6 817-843. Link

Steinberg, MW. 1998. "Tilting the Frame: Considerations on Collective Action Framing From a Discursive Turn." Theory and Society. 27:6 845-872. Link

Lichterman, P. 1999. "Talking Identity in the Public Sphere: Broad Visions and Small Spaces in Sexual Identity Politics." Theory and Society. 28:1 101-141. Link

Rutten, R. 2000. "High-cost Activism and the Worker Household: Interests, Commitment, and the Costs of Revolutionary Activism in a Philippine Plantation Region." Theory and Society. 29:2 215-252. Link

Huiskamp, G. 2000. "Identity Politics and Democratic Transitions in Latin America: (re)organizing Women's Strategic Interests Through Community Activism." Theory and Society. 29:3 385-424. Link

Scott, EK. 2000. "Everyone Against Racism: Agency and the Production of Meaning in the Anti-racism Practices of Two Feminist Organizations." Theory and Society. 29:6 785-818. Link

Goldberg, CA. 2003. "Haunted by the Specter of Communism: Collective Identity and Resource Mobilization in the Demise of the Workers Alliance of America." Theory and Society. 32:5-6 725-773. Link
This article seeks to integrate identity-oriented and strategic models of collective action better by drawing on Pierre Bourdieu's theory of classification struggles. On the one hand, the article extends culture to the realm of interest by highlighting the role collective identity plays in one of the key processes that strategic models of collective action foreground: the mobilization of resources. The article extends culture to the realm of interest in another way as well: by challenging the notion that labor movements are fundamentally different from or antithetical to the identity-oriented new social movements. On the other hand, the article also extends the idea of interest to culture. Rather than viewing collective identity as something formed prior to political struggle and according to a different logic, I show that collective identity is constructed in and through struggles over classificatory schemes. These include struggles between movements and their opponents as well as struggles within movements. The article provides empirical evidence for these theoretical claims with a study of the demise of the Workers Alliance of America, a powerful, nation-wide movement of the unemployed formed in the United States in 1935 and dissolved in 1941.

Brubaker, R, M Loveman & P Stamatov. 2004. "Ethnicity as Cognition." Theory and Society. 33:1 31-64. Link
This article identifies an incipient and largely implicit cognitive turn in the study of ethnicity, and argues that it can be consolidated and extended by drawing on cognitive research in social psychology and anthropology. Cognitive perspectives provide resources for conceptualizing ethnicity, race, and nation as perspectives on the world rather than entities in the world, for treating ethnicity, race, and nationalism together rather than as separate subfields, and for re-specifying the old debate between primordialist and circumstantialist approaches.

Mclean, PD. 2004. "Widening Access While Tightening Control: Office-holding, Marriages, and Elite Consolidation in Early Modern Poland." Theory and Society. 33:2 167-212. Link
Elites are dynamically emergent and evolving groups, yet their organization at any given time has tremendous implications for the tenor of social life and the probability of historical change. Using data on more than 3,000 Senatorial office-holders and over 3,100 elite marriages in early modern Poland, this article systematically documents changes over time in the structure of the Polish elite between 1500 and 1795 from a ``multiple-networks'' perspective. It measures timing of entry into senatorial ranks, regional integration of the elite, degree of elite dominance, and patterns of overlap between office-holding and marriage networks across four distinct eras in Polish history. Aggregate network patterns reveal a system in the eighteenth century characterized simultaneously by widening political access and increasing super-elite political control. Highlighting these patterns makes better sense of the Polish nobility's distinct cultural practices than do other historical sociological accounts and illuminates the structural basis for Poland's remarkable constitutional moment in the late eighteenth century.

Koopmans, R. 2004. "Movements and Media: Selection Processes and Evolutionary Dynamics in the Public Sphere." Theory and Society. 33:3-4 367-391. Link
This article argues that the decisive part of the interaction between social movements and political authorities is no longer the direct, physical confrontation between them in concrete locations, but the indirect, mediated encounters among contenders in the arena of the mass media public sphere. Authorities react to social movement activities if and as they are depicted in the mass media, and conversely movement activists become aware of political opportunities and constraints through the reactions ( or non-reactions) that their actions provoke in the public sphere. The dynamics of this mediated interaction among political contenders can be analyzed as an evolutionary process. Of the great variety of attempts to mobilize public attention, only a few can be accommodated in the bounded media space. Three selection mechanisms-labelled here as ``discursive opportunities'' - can be identified that affect the diffusion chances of contentious messages: visibility ( the extent to which a message is covered by the mass media), resonance ( the extent to which others - allies, opponents, authorities, etc.-react to a message), and legitimacy ( the degree to which such reactions are supportive). The argument is empirically illustrated by showing how the strategic repertoire of the German radical right evolved over the course of the 1990s as a result of the differential reactions that various strategies encountered in the mass media arena.

Emirbayer, M & CA Goldberg. 2005. "Pragmatism, Bourdieu, and Collective Emotions in Contentious Politics." Theory and Society. 34:5-6 469-518. Link
We aim to show how collective emotions can be incorporated into the study of episodes of political contention. In a critical vein, we systematically explore the weaknesses in extant models of collective action, showing what has been lost through a neglect or faulty conceptualization of collective emotional configurations. We structure this discussion in terms of a review of several ``pernicious postulates'' in the literature, assumptions that have been held, we argue, by classical social-movement theorists and by social-structural and cultural critics alike. In a reconstructive vein, however, we also lay out the foundations of a more satisfactory theoretical framework. We take each succeeding critique of a pernicious postulate as the occasion for more positive theory-building. Drawing upon the work of the classical American pragmatists-especially Peirce, Dewey, and Mead-as well as aspects of Bourdieu's sociology, we construct, step by step, the foundations of a more adequate theorization of social movements and collective action. Accordingly, the negative and positive threads of our discussion are woven closely together: the dismantling of pernicious postulates and the development of a more useful analytical strategy.

Schurman, R & W Munro. 2006. "Ideas, Thinkers, and Social Networks: the Process of Grievance Construction in the Anti-genetic Engineering Movement." Theory and Society. 35:1 1-38. Link
Popular commentaries suggest that the movement against genetic engineering in agriculture (anti-GE movement) was born in Europe, rooted in European cultural approaches to food, and sparked by recent food-safety scares such as ``mad cow'' disease. Yet few realize that the anti-GE movement's origins date back thirty years, that opposition to agricultural biotechnology emerged with the technology itself, and that the movement originated in the United States rather than Europe. We argue here that neither the explosion of the GE food issue in the late 1990s nor the concomitant expansion of the movement can be understood without recognizing the importance of the intellectual work carried out by a ``critical community'' of activists during the two-decade-long period prior to the 1990s. We show how these early critics forged an oppositional ideology and concrete set of grievances upon which a movement could later be built. Our analysis advances social movement theory by establishing the importance of the intellectual work that activists engage in during the ``proto-mobilizational'' phase of collective action, and by identifying the cognitive and social processes by which activists develop a critical, analytical framework. Our elaboration of four specific dimensions of idea/ideology formation pushes the literature toward a more complete understanding of the role of ideas and idea-makers in social movements, and suggests a process of grievance construction that is more ``organic'' than strategic (pace the framing literature).

Berman, Elizabeth. 2006. "Before the Professional Project: Success and Failure at Creating an Organizational Representative for English Doctors." Theory and Society. 35:2 157-191. Link
Theories of the professions do not sufficiently explain how individuals with different and often ill-defined interests can organize themselves into a group coherent enough to undertake a ``professional project.'' I suggest that concepts from institutional and organizational theory can help fill this gap and apply such concepts to one of the first professional projects, that of English doctors. In the early nineteenth century, two groups sought to become the organizational representative of the incipient profession. The first rapidly organized a sizeable fraction of practitioners and achieved some legislative success, but could not transform its early accomplishments into a position as the doctors' representative. The second had only moderate impact in its early years and was dismissed as politically irrelevant, but eventually united the profession and continues to this day as the British Medical Association. The professions literature, most of which is pitched at a broader level of analysis, does not provide theoretical tools to explain these divergent outcomes. I argue that they can be accounted for by analyzing English medicine as an institutional field. The groups' different structural locations within the field affected their trajectories, and a novel organizational model borrowed from an adjacent field helped the latter group keep doctors mobilized and achieve legitimacy. As a result, an unlikely-looking group of outsiders with limited resources was eventually able to lead a successful professional project, while an initially promising group fell by the wayside.

Hallett, Tim & Marc Ventresca. 2006. "Inhabited Institutions: Social Interactions and Organizational Forms in Gouldner's Patterns of Industrial Bureaucracy." Theory and Society. 35:2 213-236. Link

Jansen, Robert. 2008. "Jurassic Technology? Sustaining Presumptions of Intersubjectivity in a Disruptive Environment." Theory and Society. 37:2 127-159. Link
While the problem of intersubjectivity has motivated a great deal of sociological research, there has been little consideration of the relationship between intersubjectivity-sustaining practices and the physical environment in which these are enacted. The Museum of Jurassic Technology (MJT) is a strategic site for exploring this relationship. With its labyrinthine layout and bewildering exhibits, the MJT provides a natural ``breaching experiment'' in which concrete elements of the space disrupt normal competencies for sustaining presumptions of intersubjectivity. Using ethnographic data on visitor interaction, this article specifies two disruptive aspects of the physical environment and identifies four methods of repair on which visitors rely to reestablish presumptions of intersubjectivity. The analysis of spatially situated processes of intersubjective disruption and repair in an extreme case such as the MJT is a first step toward ``emplacing'' the intersubjectivity problem in more everyday settings.

Anderson, Elisabeth. 2008. "Experts, Ideas, and Policy Change: the Russell Sage Foundation and Small Loan Reform, 1909-1941." Theory and Society. 37:3 271-310. Link
Between 1909 and 1941, the Russell Sage Foundation (RSF) was actively involved in crafting and lobbying for policy solutions to the pervasive problem of predatory lending. Using a rich assortment of archival records, I build upon political learning theory by demonstrating how institutional conditions and political pressures - in addition to new knowledge gained through scientific study and practical experience - all contributed to the emergence and development of RSF experts' policy ideas over the course of this 30-year period. In light of these findings, I suggest that policy ideas and political interests are mutually constitutive, and that the notion that ideas must be shown to operate independent of interests in order to ``prove'' that they matter in policymaking is misguided. Furthermore, I discuss the implications of the remarkable success of RSF's policy proposals for current understandings of institutional change. In particular, I argue that the passage of RSF's controversial Uniform Small Loan Law in 34 states suggests that political actors' collective agency can produce significant policy reforms in a context of normal policymaking without the intervention of major destabilizing events.

Tugal, Cihan. 2009. "Transforming Everyday Life: Islamism and Social Movement Theory." Theory and Society. 38:5 423-458. Link
The Islamist movement in Turkey bases its mobilization strategy on transforming everyday practices. Public challenges against the state do not form a central part of its repertoire. New Social Movement theory provides some tools for analyzing such an unconventional strategic choice. However, as Islamist mobilization also seeks to reshape the state in the long run, New Social Movement theory (with its focus on culture and society and its relative neglect of the state) needs to be complemented by more institutional analyses. A hegemonic account of mobilization, which incorporates tools from theories of everyday life and identity-formation, as well as from state-centered approaches, is offered as a way to grasp the complexity of Islamism.

Anderson, Elisabeth. 2013. "Ideas in Action: the Politics of Prussian Child Labor Reform, 1817-1839." Theory and Society. 42:1 81-119. Link
This article explains the political origins of an 1839 law regulating the factory employment of children in Prussia. The article has two aims. First, it seeks to explain why Prussia adopted the particular law that it did. Existing historical explanations of this particular policy change are not correct, largely because they fail to take into account the actual motivations and intentions of key reformers. Second, the article contributes to theories of the role of ideas in public policymaking. Ideas interact with institutional and political factors to serve as motivators and as resources for policy change. As motivators, they drive political action and shape the content of policy programs; as resources, they enable political actors to recruit supporters and forge alliances. I offer a theory of the relationship between ideas, motivation, and political action, and I develop a methodological framework for assessing the reliability of political actors' expressed motivations. Further, I explain how political actors use ideas as resources by deploying three specific ideational strategies: framing, borrowing, and citing. By tracing how different understandings of the child labor problem motivated and were embodied in two competing child labor policy proposals, I show how the ideas underlying reform had significant consequences for policy outcomes.