Date of Award

Spring 5-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Political Science


Political Science

Major Professor

Michael Huelshoff

Second Advisor

Christine Day

Third Advisor

Richard Frank


Gays and lesbians have long struggled for their rights as citizens, yet only recently has their struggle been truly politicized in a way that fosters mobilization. When and why social movements coalesce despite the many obstacles to collective action are fundamental questions in comparative politics. While examining social movements is worthwhile, it is important to examine not only when and why a social movement forms, but also when and why a social movement is successful. This dissertation tackles the latter of these objectives, focusing on when and why social movements have success in terms of their duration from the time of their formation until their desired policy output is produced.


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