Why are some protests from a seemingly unified social movement more effective against similar organizational targets than others? In this article, we make the claim that protests are more likely to succeed when: (1) their claims are more specialized to their targets; and (2) when they draw on a more diverse repertoire of tactics. We also contend that the extent to which claim specialization facilitates protest success is a function of competition in the form of other geographically proximate protests advancing alternative claims. Finally, we argue that the effect of claim specialization on protest success is contingent on the features of the surrounding protest environment. A study of planned nuclear generating units in the U.S. and the antinuclear protests that targeted them between 1960 and 1995 provides support for our arguments, with implications for how the pace of social change can be linked to intensity of cross-movement alliances.

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