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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2023

The Power of Morality in Movements

Civic Engagement in Climate Justice, Human Rights, and Democracy

  • Explores the role of morality in social movements

  • Discusses timely topics such as movements focusing on refugee solidarity, male privilege

  • Provides methodologically and theoretically diverse contributions from multiple social science disciplines

  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access.

Part of the book series: Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies (NCSS)

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (14 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-ix
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 1-1
    2. Introduction: Movements and Morality

      • Anders Sevelsted, Jonas Toubøl
      Pages 3-13Open Access
    3. Paradigm Lost? Three Dimensions of Morality and Social Movements

      • Anders Sevelsted, Jonas Toubøl
      Pages 15-37Open Access
    4. Bringing Morality Back in: Three Interviews

      • Jeffrey Alexander, Nina Eliasoph, Doug McAdam, Anders Sevelsted, Jonas Toubøl
      Pages 39-59Open Access
  3. Selves in Interaction

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 61-61
    2. For a Better Living-Together: Ongoing Meaningful Conversations at Play

      • Florence Passy, Gian-Andrea Monsch
      Pages 119-143Open Access
  4. Culture and Tradition

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 237-237
    2. The Moral Dimension of Countermovements: The Case of Anti-Feminism

      • Sara Kalm, Anna Meeuwisse
      Pages 291-314Open Access
  5. Conclusions

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 315-315
    2. Paradigm Revived? Concluding Sketches of an Emerging Research Agenda

      • Jonas Toubøl, Anders Sevelsted
      Pages 317-321Open Access

About this book

This Open Access book explores the role of morality in social movements. Morality has always been central to social movements whether it be in the form of the moral foundations of movement claims, politics and ideologies, the values motivating participation, the new moral principles envisioned and practiced among movement participants, or the overall struggle over society’s moral values that movements engage in. This is evident in movements emerging from recent interlinked crises: the crisis of human rights, the climate crisis, and the developing crisis of democracy. In analyzing these current events through a variety of theoretical, methodological, and empirical lenses, this book brings morality to the forefront of the discussion, allowing for a rethinking of its role.

The book is divided into five parts. The first part introduces and explores the central concept of the book, outlining the dominant existing approaches to morality and ethics in the extant movement and civil society literature. The following three parts investigate morality in relation to topics and movements that are either prominent to contemporary politics or salient to the question of morality. In these empirically informed parts, the authors apply a diverse selection of methods spanning fieldwork, historiography, traditional and novel statistical analytical methods, and big data analysis to a diverse selection of data. Topics discussed include refugee solidarity movements, male privilege and anti-feminism movement, environmental and climate justice movements, and religious activism. The fifth and closing part of the book focuses on the more abstract theoretical question of the relationship between morality and ethics and activist practices and points to future research agendas.

This book will be of general interest to students, scholars and academics within the disciplines of political sociology, -science and -anthropology and of particular interest to academics in the subfields of social movement and civil society studies.


  • altruism
  • solidarity
  • morality
  • social movements
  • civil society studies
  • solidarity activism
  • protest
  • Open Access

Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Management, Politics, and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark

    Anders Sevelsted

  • Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

    Jonas Toubøl

About the editors

Anders Sevelsted is assistant professor at Copenhagen Business School, Department of Management, Politics, and Philosophy. He is also a post doc with Lund University, School of Social Work. He holds a Ph.D. from the Copenhagen Business School.   

Jonas Toubøl is assistant professor at Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, where he also obtained his PhD.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)