The Movement Action Plan (MAP)

The Movement Action Plan (MAP)

“Never underestimate the power of a few committed people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”. — Margaret Meade

The Movement Action Plan is a strategic model for waging nonviolent social movements developed by Bill Moyer, a US social change activist. The MAP, initially developed by Moyer in the late 1970s, uses case studies of successful social movements to illustrate eight distinct stages through social movements’ progress, and is designed to help movement activists choose the most effective tactics and strategies to match their movements’ current stage.

The Document
Wiki Page


Excerpt from Intro:


Social movements are collective actions in which the populace is alerted, educated, and mobilized, over years and decades, to challenge the powerholders and the whole society to redress social problems or grievances and restore critical social values. By involving the populace directly in the political process, social movements also foster the concept of government of, by, and for the people. The power of movements is directly proportional to the forcefulness with which the grassroots exert their discontent and demand change.
The central issue of social movements, therefore, is the struggle between the movement and the powerholders to win the hearts (sympathies), minds (public opinion), and active support of the great majority of the populace, which ultimately holds the power to either preserve the status quo or create change.

There needs to be a revival of democracy through “people power”.The increasingly centralized power of the state and other social institutions, combined with the new use of the mass media to carry out the political process, has all but eliminated effective citizen participation in the decision-making process. Centralized powerholders now make decisions in the interests of a small minority, while simultaneously undermining the common good and aggravating critical social problems.

But people are powerful. Power ultimately resides with the populace. History is full of examples of an inspired citizenry involved in social movements that achieve social and political changes—even topple tyrannical governments. Powerholders know this. They know that their power depends on the support or acquiescence of the mass population.
Nonviolent social movements are a powerful means for preserving democracy and making societies address critical social problems. They enable citizens to challenge the prevailing centers of power and become active in society’s decision-making process, especially at times when the normal channels for their political participation are ineffective. Social movements mobilize citizens and public opinion to challenge powerholders and the whole society to adhere to universal values and sensibilities and redress social problems. At their best, they create an empowered citizenry, shifting the locus of social and political power from central elites and institutions to new grassroots networks and groups. In recent years, social movements have helped establish many civil rights for Blacks and women, end the Vietnam War, curb U.S. military interventions, and topple dictators in Haiti and the Philippines. Presently, there are strong movements opposing nuclear weapons, nuclear power, South African apartheid, and U.S. intervention in Central America, among others.


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