People protest to try to change the world, because they think they can help change the world, and sometimes they do. But not by themselves, and generally not just how and when they want. This incisive book explains how groups of ordinary individuals can affect the world, what makes it possible when it works, and why it sometimes doesn't go to plan. Digging into previous scholarship on social movements, David S. Meyer looks at the origins of social movements, how they contrast with revolutionary campaigns, and assesses the periodic influence of activists on politics, policy, culture, and the way people live their lives. He concludes by stressing the narratives about political change that activists construct and the power that lies in these stories. With sharp insight and a wealth of intriguing cases, this book offers a fuller understanding of the politics and potential payoffs of protest politics.?