Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:05
This course explores the role of political protest in societies marked by deep divisions among identity groups. Reviewing historical cases and with a focus on contemporary examples, it asks why groups resort to protest to secure political change. It investigates state responses: why the government might agree to reform or resort to coercion and violence. The course draws on theories of peace and conflict and looks at examples of protest movements in deeply divided places including Bosnia, Iraq, Lebanon and Northern Ireland.
|Session||First Sub Session||Credit Points||30 credits (15 ECTS credits)|
In societies marked by deep communal divisions, groups often resort to political activism and protest to secure political change. This course seeks to understand and explain why groups decide to act through protest as a means to secure their political objectives (to improve their socio-economic conditions, secure civil/political rights, or advance their self-determination claims). Drawing on theories of peace and conflict, the course investigates the basis for political activism as non-violent in nature: the philosophical principles for non-violent protest, its mechanisms, and its challenges when confronted by opposing groups or a reluctant state. In understanding why protest movements in deeply divided societies occur, the course investigates questions of mobilisation, participation, protest tools and negotiation. It examines the role of group leadership in steering a non-violence movement in the pursuit of equality and justice. The course also explores how the state, whose governing elite may not represent the protesting group, responds: why some states acquiesce to agree institutional and socio-economic reform and why others deploy coercive measures including violence against citizens. It also investigates why, and with what consequences, do protests occur in the aftermath of a peace settlement where citizens are dissatisfied with the pace and nature of peace implementation. Teaching draws on a range of historical examples (civil rights movements) and from across contemporary divided societies including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq, Lebanon, Northern Ireland, and the US. Students will have the opportunity to engage in group work and a range of assessments including seminar presentations, research papers, policy reports and blog pieces.
Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.
|Assessment Weeks||17||Feedback Weeks||20|
Research on a case of political protest movement in a divided society; explain origins, mechanisms, outcomes; 3,000 words. Feedback within 3 weeks using feedback form and extended comments.
|Assessment Weeks||15||Feedback Weeks||19|
Students to write a policy report on a protest movement in a deeply divided society. Audience a state government or international organisation. To provide an overview of movement rationale, origins and objectives. To suggest some ways forward to secure peace and democratic stability.
|Assessment Weeks||12||Feedback Weeks||14|
Students to write a blog piece on the politics of protest in divided societies. Focus on the interaction between the protest movement and the state.
There are no assessments for this course.
|Assessment Weeks||Feedback Weeks|
|Knowledge Level||Thinking Skill||Outcome|
|Conceptual||Understand||To understand why identity groups in deeply divided societies engage in political protest.|
|Factual||Evaluate||To evaluate the principles and forms of non-violent protest in divided societies.|
|Conceptual||Analyse||To analyse the outcomes of protest and activism in divided societies as potential for political change.|
|Conceptual||Analyse||To analyse states responses to political protest as expressed in compromise or coercion.|
|Conceptual||Understand||To explore the legacies of political protest in post-conflict settings.|