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A political movement is a social movement in the area of politics. A political movement may be organized around a single issue or set of issues, or around a set of shared concerns of a social group. In contrast with a political party, a political movement is not organized to elect members of the movement to government office; instead, a political movement aims to convince citizens or governments to take action on the issues and concerns which are the focus of the movement.
A political movement may be local, regional, national, or international in scope. Some have aimed to change government policy, such as the anti-war movement, the Ecology movement, and the Anti-globalization movement. Many have aimed to establish or broaden the rights of subordinate groups, such as abolitionism, the women's suffrage movement, the Civil rights movement, feminism, men's rights movement, gay rights movement, the Disability rights movement, or the inclusive human rights movement. Some have represented class interests, such as the Labour movement, Socialism, and Communism, others have expressed national aspirations, such as anticolonialist movements, Ratana, Zionism, and Sinn Féin. Political movements can also involve struggles to decentralize or centralize state control, as in Anarchism, Fascism, and Nazism.
Movements may be named by outsiders, as with the levellers political movement in 17th century England was so named as a term of disparagement. Yet admirers of the movement and its aims later came to use the term, and it is the term by which they are known to history.
- George, Susan (2001-10-18). "The Global Citizens Movement. A New Actor For a New Politics". TransNational Institute.
- Plant, David (2005-12-14). "The Levellers". British Civil Wars and Commonwealth website. Retrieved 2013-06-05.
- Harrison, Kevin; Boyd, Tony (2003). Understanding Political Ideas and Movements: a Guide for A2 Politics Students. Manchester University Press.
- Opp, Karl-Dieter (2009). Theories of Political Protest and Social Movements: A Multidisciplinary Introduction, Critique, and Synthesis. Routledge.
- Snow, David; Della Porta, Donatella; Klandemans, Bert; McAdam, Doug. The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements. John Wiley.