List of Figures, Tables and Documents ix
1 Introduction: Contentious Markets 1
2 The Rise of Consumer Campaigns 21
3 Launching a Campaign 49
4 Building a Campaign 71
5 Campaign Styles and Protest in the Marketplace 97
6 Campaigning Over Time 115
7 Strategic Interactions and Campaign Outcomes 145
Conclusion: Contention, Consumers, and Corporations 161
List of Figures, Tables and Documents
1.1 Sales volume / inhabitant of Max Havelaar labeled products in Switzerland and France (Source: Max Havelaar Switzerland and France) 14
4.1 Circle of tactical action repertoire 83
4.1 Campaign fabrication, internal document campaign
coalition France, November 16 1999 77
4.2 Strategic deployment of the 2005 campaign round
“Jouez le jeu II”, from campaign manual, p. 7 78
1.1 Major factors shaping reactiveness of firms to movement demands 8
1.2 Two ideal types of campaigns 12
1.3 Type of observations in Switzerland and France 17
4.1 Campaign rounds in Switzerland, 1997–2008 75
4.2 Campaign rounds in France, 1995–2005 75
4.3 Action forms employed by the Swiss and French campaigns 81
4.4 Composition of local coalitions: organizations present
in 5 or more local coalitions 95
5.1 Frames addressed at potential campaign participants in
France and Switzerland 98
This book is the result of a long research journey and it would not be the same without the many people I encountered along the way. Its chapters were written and re-written in Lausanne, Zurich, State College, Pittsburgh, Cologne and Florence, and the fieldwork that it is based on was done in libraries, offices, cafes, shops and squares in Zurich, Paris, and a few other cities in Switzerland and France. It is impossible to mention everyone who has contributed, in one way or another, to this project, which goes back to the year 2006 when I first heard of a thing called ‘political consumption’ and decided to study the collective actors behind it: how social movements mobilize consumers and target corporations.
My gratitude goes firstly to the activists working or volunteering for the Swiss and French Clean Clothes Campaigns (CCC) and some of the organizations contributing to it. Without their generosity, their willingness to share their stories and to respond to my questions, the research on which this book builds would not have been possible. My recognition especially goes to Nayla from the French Collectif Ethique sur l’étiquette, who helped me greatly in getting in touch with former campaign officials in France and granted me access to the campaigns’ internal archives. I am also especially grateful to the people at the Zurich office of the Bern Declaration and the volunteers from one of its regional groups, who welcomed me to participate in their activities. Attending their meetings and contributing to their actions was very rewarding and it opened my eyes to many aspects of mobilization that I would have otherwise overlooked. I also want to thank all the other people who agreed to be interviewed for this study—those working for clothing firms, government programs, and organizations pursuing the goal of making fashion more ethical.
Intellectually, the book owes much—if not everything!—to Olivier Fillieule, who is and has been a great mentor and friend, ever questioning existing theories of social movements and pushing me on the track towards a more interactionist and dynamic perspective on mobilization processes. The Centre de recherche sur l’action politique of the University of Lausanne (CRAPUL) was an immensely inspiring place to develop this research and exchange ideas with fellow political sociologists and friends. With her poignant remarks and suggestions, Nonna Mayer from the Centre d’études européennes at Sciences Po Paris also played a not insignificant role in improving this manuscript over the years.
When I left the University of Lausanne, I enjoyed the great privilege of being welcomed into two of the most outstanding European institutions to do social research, where I was granted generous fellowships which enabled me to rethink the structure of this book and complete its writing. First, the Max-Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, Germany, provided me with a postdoctoral fellowship; I am especially grateful to the Institute’s co-director, Jens Beckert, who invited me to join the ‘sociology of markets’ group and whose interest in the role social movements play in the rise of ‘moral markets’ has opened up new perspectives in my work. I then had the pleasure of becoming a ‘Max Weber Fellow’ for a year, joining the Max Weber Programme of the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence. The inspiring intellectual encounters on the hills overlooking Florence, and the new friends found at the EUI made this time productive and unforgettable. I was also warmly integrated into the vibrant community of social movement scholars at the EUI led by Donatella della Porta, to whom I am particularly indebted. Following this time at the EUI, I also want to thank the Swiss National Science Foundation for awarding me a postdoctoral mobility grant, allowing me to continue my stay at the EUI and finish the last revisions for this book. In this last stage, the comments and suggestions by Hank Johnston, editor of the Mobilization series, were extremely helpful in improving and tightening this manuscript. I also want to thank Susan Garvin for her very careful language editing, and Claire Jarvis from Ashgate for her efficient work.
Finally, I want to dedicate this book to the people who mean the most to me and whose presence has helped me through all the ups and downs such a long research endeavor inevitably gives rise to. To Danny, who makes me smile every day and has fed me through many difficult moments with his marvelous Tuscan meals. To my brother, who is always high on my list. And, most of all, to my parents who have instilled me with intellectual curiosity and have always been there for me, supportive of my choice of pursuing academic research. At last their patient yet persistent questions about the progress of this book get a final answer.