Essay from the year 2006 in the subject Sociology - Individual, Groups, Society, grade: 2,0, University of Nottingham (Nottingham Trent University), 17 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The Civil Rights Movement in the USA, women's movements all over the world, peace and anti-war movements, environmentalists, gay and lesbian rights groups... The rise and fall of various new social movements (NSM) can be observed throughout the last decades. But what is new about NSM compared to former social movements? Why did they rise in the post-war period? Why do people support a political cause? Why do they choose non-institutional means of influence? This essay will define NSM in contrast to former social movements examining closely the post-war circumstances and the period's impact on the rise of NSM all over Europe. The German green party Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (Die Grünen) will be pointed out as a special example of a NSM that became a party and therefore a political institution. The conclusion will focus on the rise and fall of NSM and give a future outlook. Social movements are large informal groupings of individuals or organisations with a common interest, who focus on specific political or social issues to carry out a social change (see website 1). They are distinguished from other collective actors by having (the threat of) mass mobilisation as their prime source of social sanction, and hence of power (see Scott 1990, p.6).