Modeling complex collective animal movement presents distinct challenges. In particular, modeling the interactions between animals and the nonlinear behaviors associated with these interactions, while accounting for uncertainty in data, model and parameters, requires a flexible modeling framework. To address these challenges, we propose a general hierarchical framework for modeling collective movement behavior with multiple stages. Each of these stages can be thought of as processes that are flexible enough to model a variety of complex behaviors. For example, self-propelled particle (SPP) models (e.g., Vicsek et al., 1995) represent collective behavior and are often applied in the physics and biology literature. To date, the study and application of these models has almost exclusively focused on simulation studies, with less attention given to rigorously quantifying the uncertainty. Here, we demonstrate our general framework with a hierarchical version of the SPP model applied to collective animal movement. Due to the computational challenges associated with the proposed model, we develop an approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) algorithm for estimation.