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Social changes are now proceeding so rapidly thanks to the effects of globalization. Globalization has a major impact on social movements and has largely changed the patterns of their development. The impact of globalization has became greater with the passage of time. The impact of globalization since the industrialization revolution  has been felt in different areas including democratization, human rights, the changing role of women, the role of the media and the role of NGOs and multinational companies and this has played out largely because of more widely available technologies. Definitions of terms is needed in order to better understand the impact of globalization on social movements.
 There is no single definition for globalization; scholars from different fields of study have defined globalization differently. For instance, Malcolm explains, “Globalization as a concept refers both to the compression of the world and the intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole… both concrete global interdependence and consciousness of the global whole.” (2001, 04). Malcolm`s definition emphasizes increasing interdependency between people and states. On the other hand, Gidden defines globalization from a different perspective. He argues, “Globalization can be defined as the intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa.” (1990, 64). Giddens’ definition emphasizes the effects of social change in unrelated places upon each other.
Scholte gives five different perspectives of globalization: “Globalization as internationalization, Globalization as liberalization, Globalization as universalization, Globalization as westernization or modernization and Globalization as deterritorialisation.” (Scholte, 2000). 
Globalization has a wide range of meaning. All of these definitions can be synthesized in Malcolm’s words: “there will be no ‘there’ anymore. We will be here. ” (Malcolm, 182).

Since globalization breaks down traditional national constructs, an agreed definition of social movements is needed. In Tarrow’s words, “Contentious politics occurs when ordinary people, often in league with more influential citizens, join forces in confrontation with elites, authorities and opponents… When backed by dense social networks and galvanized by culturally resonant, action-oriented symbols, contentious politics leads to sustained interaction with opponents. The result is a social movement.” (Tarrow, 1998: 2). According to Tarrow`s definition, a social movement is the uprising of an oppressed section of society against the elites and authorities who exploit its rights. For a social movement to be successful, the oppressed people who are fighting for their rights must have the back-up of influential actors of the society.  
Nick Crossley gives Della Porta and Diani definition of  social movements as “informal networks, based on shared beliefs and solidarity, which mobilize about conflictual issues, through the frequent use of various forms of protest.” (2002: 16) According to this definition, social movements are staged by people of similar identity struggling for a common interest.
In order to measure the impact of globalization on contemporary social movements, it is useful to look at two specific examples, the Feminist movement and the Jasmine movement in the Middle East. The impact of globalization can be analysed in the light of two schools of thought, Resource Mobilization and Political Opportunity Structure theory.
Resource Mobilization:
The theory of Resource Mobilization was put forward by McCarthy and Zald: it emerged in the United States of America as a response to collective behavior theory in the 1960s. This can be defined as “the availability of resources, both material and non-material, that fostered the emergence and success of social movements.  (McCarthy and Zald, 1977).The theory of Resource Mobilization is concerned with the functioning and structure of movements and of movement organizations in particular.This theory argues that state agencies facilitate mobilization by providing resources for organizations. Movements are the result of rational, purposeful and organized action taken in response to existing cleavages in society (Tilly, 1978).
It is because of globalization that contemporary social movements are having a wide range of resources available. These resources include improved and advanced technologies and increasing interconnected networks of communication. Similarly, the increasingly powerful role of the media is helping social movements to get their message across. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and multinational corporations (MNCs) are also helping the social movements financially. As noted by William Engdahl, “Washington-based NGO with a long history of involvement in US-sponsored regime change from Serbia to Georgia to Ukraine and other Color Revolutions.” (Sovereign independent). Globalization has made it easy to access academic and political resources through the internet: this causes people to be more aware of their rights which in turn trigger a struggle to secure those rights. It is also now much easier to mobilize people through the internet and via Twitter and mobile phone.    
Globalization shaped the Jasmine social movement of the Middle East. The resources used – notably the Facebook social network – are the outcome of globalization. The influence of social networks is reflected in the fact that Facebook is banned in China and Iran.  Similarly, media is another factor which has greatly influenced the social movements. For instance, in Egypt after the protests in Tahrir Square began, it was the media – especially television -which spread the news all around. As a result, many more people joined the protest and pressure on the government was raised, leading to the overthrow of the Hosni Mubarak government. Globalization has diminished the importance of territorial boundaries between states so that events in one country can swiftly affect other countries. Anti-government demonstrations started in Tunisia, and then spread to Egypt, Algeria, Bahrain and then Libya. The effects of globalization meant that this movement gained momentum and attracted the immediate attention of the people.
Globalization has also greatly impacted on the Feminist movement. It is now much easier to organize women from all over the world. Women now actively and visibly take part in social movements, as was obvious from the footage from Tahrir Square. As noted by the Al Jazeera news channel, “They were front and centre, in news clips and on Facebook forums, and even in the leadership. In Egypt's Tahrir Square, women volunteers, some accompanied by children, worked steadily to support the protests – helping with security, communications, and shelter.”(Aljazeera). It remains to be seen whether women’s participation is recognized in social and legislative changes in the future. Local women rights movements are now much interconnected with their counterpart beyond the boundaries of countries. Also many Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are working for the betterment of women`s conditions across the world which is enabling women to be aware of their rights and struggle for them more actively.
Political Opportunity Structure:
The theory of Political Opportunity Structure can be defined as “the availability and strategic posture of potential allies and also political conflicts between and within allies” (Tarrow, 1989). According to this definition, a social movement is likely to arise in those states where there is political conflict and people are deprived of their rights. Globalization has also influenced social movements in the perspective of Political Opportunity Structure theory. Some authors define globalization in terms of political liberalization, equal human rights and democratization and these characteristics are the key factors in contemporary social movements. For instance, the Jasmine movement of the Middle East was spurred by popular discontent with autocratic governments in the face of economic deprivation. People demanded change in stagnating economic systems prey to widespread corruption and called for democratization to end their disenfranchisement.
Similarly, globalization has played an important role in the Feminist movement. Traditional societies make it difficult for women to take part in social activism but the possibility of equal rights for all has politicized women, especially those from the younger, more educated and politically aware generation. Education has been a major factor. Commenting on Egypt, Al Jazeera stated, “the greatest shift is educational. Two generations ago, only a small minority of the daughters of the elite received a university education. Today, women account for more than half of the students at Egyptian universities. They are being trained to use power in ways that their grandmothers could scarcely have imagined” (Al Jazeera). Contemporary social movements are greatly influenced by globalization which has increased the ability of citizens to organize between themselves. It remains to be seen whether activism on the street translates into changed realities for the participants. It may be that while there have been transformations on the surface, vested interests and the force of inertia combines to produce a result which fails to respond to the demands made by the social movements in question. For instance, Egyptian military apparatus are still in charge. Democracy has made it easy for the women to participate in the political process and therefore many women have got important positions in the governments which are helping the Feminist movement.
In sum, it can safely be said that globalization has greatly shifted the patterns of contemporary social movements. Thanks to the resources and the political structure that is provided by globalization, now social movements are having many advantages in many factors which were not available to them earlier. Additionally the repertoire of human advancement is strongly correlated with the innovation of traditional mood of representing self identity.

Written By: Masood Khan

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