Progressive Motors

The social movements and campaigns leading the United States into a new era

During the 2020 United States Election, countless actors played pivotal roles in securing Democratic victories. What role did social movements play during this historic year for US politics and how did political campaigns successfully mobilize during a pandemic? The articles below provide an inside look at moments and campaigns that will shape the US political landscape for years to come.

The consequential turnout for the 2020 United States General Election was galvanized by social movements and voter mobilization across the country. To supplement the academic analysis of the Forschungsjournal Soziale Bewegungen’s most recent edition on the ‘United States after Trump’, the following articles give an inside look at events and actors who helped mobilize for a just future in the United States.

Forschungsjournal Soziale Bewegungen (Journal on Social Movements) partnered up with Das Progressive Zentrum to co-publish their latest edition focusing exclusively on the 2020 United States General Election and its aftermath. You can purchase the journal here and read more articles here (German only).

A Society in Need of Resuscitation

by María Alejandra Moscoso Rivadeneira

The US faces a history of social disparity, targeted inequality, and a growing distrust amongst social sectors. This faulty social structure has spread through most sectors of society, from education to healthcare, where minority groups are often left with limited resources and opportunities. From the Civil Rights Era to the current Black Lives Matter Movement, social inequality has always been a target issue in American society. This article will look at the socio-economic and socio-demographic structure of American society and how its changes in the last half century have left effects on US society, politically and socially.

From Michigan to Georgia, and around the world, individuals organized during a pandemic to win elections. Read the interviews to get a first hand glimpse into just a few of the countless efforts to bring about a more equitable United States. All interviews were conducted by Diego Rivas.

Knocking on doors:
Canvassing during the 2021 Georgia run-off election

An interview with canvassers Isaac Katten and Miguel Madrigal

Across the United States, countless political advocacy groups, unions, and other civil society groups mobilized during the 2020 US Presidential Election. From grassroots to professional, these organizations helped tens of thousands of people to get out the vote for their candidates. Below is an interview with canvassers about their experiences canvassing during the 2021 Georgia Run-Off Election, an election that ultimately gave Joe Biden a majority in the US Senate.

Macomb County, Michigan:
The lasting influence of Trump and the future of swing districts

An interview with campaign manager Emily McHarg

To understand the long term effects that Donald Trump will have on the Republican Party, it is worth taking a closer look at the state of Michigan. The rust belt state provides interesting insights on the shifting US electorate for several notable reasons. This interview dives deep into a Michigan swing district and analyses a changing America.

US citizens mobilizing around the world during the 2020 US Election.

An interview with international chair Julia Bryan

(coming soon!)

These articles are part of a collaboration of Das Progressive Zentrum and Forschungsjournal Soziale Bewegungen which includes analyses on social movements, civil society and the future of politics in the United States.


Diego Rivas

Diego war Projektmanager und koordinierte vor allem den jährlichen Progressive Governance Summit sowie den transatlantischen Dialog New Urban Progress. Diego ist derzeit auch der Get-Out-the-Vote-Coordinator für Europa, den Nahen Osten und Afrika für Democrats Abroad.

Weitere Beiträge

Die AfD und die Berichterstattung über die Partei: „Der Medienopfer-Mythos fruchtet bei ihren Anhängern“

In einem Interview beim Tagesspiegel analysiert unser Policy Fellow Johannes Hillje den medialen Umgang mit der AfD

"Herr Schroeder, was ist der Grund für den Höhenflug der AfD?"

Wolfgang Schroeder im Interview mit Jan-Hendrik Hnida ( über die Zustimmung zur AfD

Was gegen die AfD hilft

Die Mobilisierungsmaschinerie der AfD trifft bei den anderen Parteien auf mangelnde Selbstreflexion und Ideenlosigkeit bezüglich der Gegenmittel. Normalisierung und Radikalisierung der AfD verlaufen erstaunlich synchron, schreibt unser Fellow Johannes Hillje in einem Gastbeitrag für die ZEIT.