Where is the Tea Party? And where do Republicans stand on foreign policy?

Nearly a year ago, I shared in this blog a fascinated look at the Tea Party. From a social movement theoretical perspective, and based on my own personal experience living in the US and on the analysis of news sources, I tried to identify a few lessons we could learn from the rapid rise and relative success of the Tea Party movement. I made (or borrowed) a couple of predictions: firstly, that the relevance of the Tea Party would diminish progressively; and secondly, on foreign policy, following Walter Russell Mead, the Palinite wing (after Sarah Palin: nationalist, vigorous and hawkish) would predominate over the Paulite wing of the Tea Party (after Ron Paul: isolationist and in favour of a limited interpretation of “national interests”). Has time confirmed or refuted these two predictions? Continue reading “Where is the Tea Party? And where do Republicans stand on foreign policy?”

IT ISN´T A STORM IN A TEACUP (and Part III)

What can we learn from the success of the Tea Party?

By Koldo Casla

  1. INTRODUCTION: A FASCINATED LOOK AT THE TEA PARTY
  2. TEA PARTY: MOBILISING STRUCTURES, POLITICAL OPPORTUNITIES AND FRAMING PROCESSES
  3. CONCLUSION: LET’S TAKE THE TEA PARTY SERIOUSLY

 

III. CONCLUSION: LET’S TAKE THE TEA PARTY SERIOUSLY

This article shows that the emergence and relative success of the Tea Party is the result of the conjunction of powerful mobilising structures, that are not entirely new (Jacksonian populism), a set of political opportunities, some of which may last a bit longer (restricted welfare programs), and others that will probably expire soon (presidential election in November 2012), and framing processes that resonate widely in American political culture (private property, liberalism, free markets, phobia of socialism, anti-statism, etc.). Continue reading “IT ISN´T A STORM IN A TEACUP (and Part III)”

IT ISN´T A STORM IN A TEACUP (Part II)

What can we learn from the success of the Tea Party?

By Koldo Casla

  1. INTRODUCTION: A FASCINATED LOOK AT THE TEA PARTY
  2. TEA PARTY: MOBILISING STRUCTURES, POLITICAL OPPORTUNITIES AND FRAMING PROCESSES
  3. CONCLUSION: LET’S TAKE THE TEA PARTY SERIOUSLY

 

II. TEA PARTY: MOBILISING STRUCTURES, POLITICAL OPPORTUNITIES AND FRAMING PROCESSES

In order to understand the emergence and development of the Tea Party in the last three years or so one must pay attention to the conjunction and interaction of three sets of factors: mobilising structures, political opportunities and framing processes. Continue reading “IT ISN´T A STORM IN A TEACUP (Part II)”

IT ISN´T A STORM IN A TEACUP (Part I)

What can we learn from the success of the Tea Party?

By Koldo Casla

  1. INTRODUCTION: A FASCINATED LOOK AT THE TEA PARTY
  2. TEA PARTY: MOBILISING STRUCTURES, POLITICAL OPPORTUNITIES AND FRAMING PROCESSES
  3. CONCLUSION: LET’S TAKE THE TEA PARTY SERIOUSLY

 

I.      INTRODUCTION: A FASCINATED LOOK AT THE TEA PARTY

Between September 2009 and March 2011, I spent most of my time in the US. I lived there, you might say. Only five days after my arrival, I took a plane from Cedar Rapids (Iowa) to Denver (Colorado). Back then, I was reading a thick book on the democratic transition in Spain (1975-1978, approximately). The book was written in Spanish. The man sat next to me in the plane saw it, looked at me and asked: “Italian?”. I answered, he said something else and suddenly I realised I was having a chat with him. I got quite excited: He was the first American I actually met in the US. (This was my first time in the country; I had met Americans in the past, mostly in England; I also met some Americans in Iowa City, but that happened in the context of a prearranged conference, so it doesn’t count as it lacks the required spontaneity of a random conversation). Continue reading “IT ISN´T A STORM IN A TEACUP (Part I)”