The impact of green, anti-nuclear and peace movements on public policyThe situation in the United States, Italy and Switzerland between 1975 and 1995
The main interest of this article is the political impact of the green, anti-nuclear and peace movements. After a rapid review of the current status of research on the consequences of social movements, more particularly on the works relating to the effects of various movements on state policy, and by putting forward some of the major variables to explain what must be taken into account when studying the impact of social movements on state policy, we take a quick look at the various movements on the themes of the environment, nuclear energy and peace in the Unites States, Italy and Switzerland. To conclude, we propose both a comparative and longitudinal study which systematically examines the impact of social movements on public policy. Following this approach, the impact can hardly be autonomous, but is often the result of a combination of protest with three other factors : the structure of political opportunity (in particular of political alliance), the position of public opinion in relation to the undertakings of these movements and the prominence of these undertakings. Our theoretical arguments are confronted with the empirical results obtained for green, anti-nuclear and peace movements in the three countries over the period 1975 to 1995. Our analysis shows the impact of these three factors in a decisive way, but differently, depending on the movement, so as to modify the relation between protest and public policy.