This essay examines research on social movement organizations (SMOs) within each of the three major schools of social movement theory: resource mobilization, political process, and cultural-cognitive approaches. We map the general terrain of these perspectives and demonstrate how they have established enduring and emerging trends in SMO scholarship. By briefly revisiting some of the central findings and theoretical arguments of SMO research, we provide a background for future research in social movement organizational processes and a foundation for the articles contained in this special issue.

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