Scholars of social movements tend to regard professionals as a homogeneous group whose activism plays a secondary role in mobilization processes. In this article, I focus on activism driven by professionals themselves and therein examine how heterogeneous professionals participate in their activism. Drawing on the case of the Guantánamo habeas lawyers, I utilize a two-step methodology to investigate the factors that contribute to the differential participation of legal professionals. The first stage of analysis shows that while lawyers with higher status played a critical role in initiating professional activism under a hostile environment, the Rasul v. Bush ruling opened up a legal opportunity for lawyers with lower status to participate in activism. In the second stage, social network analyses of the lawyers' collaborative structure reveal that movement-affiliated lawyers played a bridging role that coordinated initiators and latecomers. The results have important implications for understanding professionals' participation in contentious politics.
Differential Participation in Professional Activism: The Case of the Guantánamo Habeas Lawyers
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Chan Suh; Differential Participation in Professional Activism: The Case of the Guantánamo Habeas Lawyers. Mobilization: An International Quarterly 1 September 2014; 19 (3): 287–307. doi: https://doi.org/10.17813/maiq.19.3.q673k4x43063751v
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