Uncovering micro-practices and pathways of engagement that scale up social-driven collaborations: a practice view of power

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This paper explores how large-scale social-driven collaborations might grow in scale and help promote political change. We present the results of a qualitative investigation of a complex platform where multiple and hybrid collaborations co-exist and where civil society plays a central role. Based on a longitudinal comparative case study, we draw a processual model describing micro-practices and pathways of engagement. We show that the emergence of these collaborations requires a new type of convener, one that is able to manage the interplay between the sharing/co-creation of abundant resources and the coordinated decentralization of informal authority. Our study extends existing debates on the role of resources and authority, showing the complementarity between possession and practice perspectives of power. Finally, we identified synergies between collaboration and social movement literatures, particularly showing that large-scale collaborations could be mobilized to refine social movement agendas and achieve more purposive collective action.

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