This volume focuses on how citizen action groups are transforming the nature of contemporary democratic politics. Contributors assess how three decades of action groups have affected advanced industrial nations. Emphasis is placed on groups and activities identified as `new social movements' in Europe and as `new-left citizen action groups' in the USA. Account is taken of the counter groups generated and the use of direct action and protest by a wide range of societal groups. The focus, however, is upon groups identified with the new political forces of advanced industrial societies, such as environmentalism and the women's movement.