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Political Consumerism: Its Motivations, Power, and Conditions in the Nordic Countries and Elsewhere

Proceedings from the 2nd International Seminar on Political Consumerism, Oslo August 26–29, 2004

image of Political Consumerism: Its Motivations, Power, and Conditions in the Nordic Countries and Elsewhere

The concept of political consumerism draws on the observation that consumer choice and the rising politics of products is an increasingly important form of political participation, especially with regard to such issues as human rights, animal rights, global solidarity and environmental responsibility. The 2nd International Seminar on Political Consumerism was arranged to enhance our knowledge about political consumerism. This report includes revised versions of the papers that were presented and discussed at the seminar. Scholars from various disciplines presented papers that discussed and analyzed such topics as the characteristics of (especially Nordic) political consumers and their motivations to express their political concerns through market channels, how consumer power and individual choice can be linked to public influence, political and market conditions for the success, effectiveness, or failure of political consumerism as a regulatory tool, and the framing, mobilization, and organizational processes behind political consumerism.

English

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Between the State and the Market: The political struggle between the animal rights movement and the Swedish fur industry

This study is an attempt to widen the perspective on the relationship between a business/business sector and its external stakeholders to include social movements. The article is centred on the case of the Swedish animal rights movements’ political pressure on domestic fur farming. We depart from a three-part model of political opportunity structures including the state, cultural and economic opportunity structures. The animal rights movement has had considerable success by engaging with a relatively open cultural opportunity structure, winning a framing war as to the moral issues raised. In spite of the fur industry’s attempts to countermobilize, the animal rights movement has found a hearing in the formal political channels and has achieved considerable success. However, since the movement is faced with an economic opportunity structure that is not vulnerable to the demands of stakeholders, and where the discrepancy is great between the interests of the industry and the demands of the stakeholders, it is not surprising that the farmers have been non-compliant.

English

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