Document Type



Political Science


The central question for my thesis is: How much can activism be fueled by anger, and how can that anger lead to a movement destruction? Anger is an effective catalyst for a movement; However, if a movement fails to change its goals to adapt to a shifting political climate, and if activists begin to turn their anger on each other, then the movement will decline and collective action will cease. I argue that those emotions led to ACT UP demise as the organization fractured after its controversial responses to routine opposition and failure to adapt to a changing political context. This led to members to turn their disgust and indignation towards each other and eventually led to the movement decline. The paper also has a short section on how a synthesis of network approaches and agentic approaches in social movements best explain a movement emergence. However, the decline of social movements are best explained by only using an agentic approach.