module specification

GI5068 - Political Protest and Social Movements (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Political Protest and Social Movements
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 150
105 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 40%   Group presentation + summary (800 words)
Coursework 60%   DTP Article (800 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Friday Morning

Module summary

This module explores the changing nature of relationships within and among societies both in the ‘North’ and the ‘global south’ from a multidisciplinary perspective. It focuses on contemporary approaches to global and grass-root movements and their strategy-trends in a variety of cultural and political contexts. Case studies of social movements, their development, expression and impact will form the basis for analysis. Themes include indigenous rights, gender and democracy, food sovereignty, international migration and economic power.

Module aims

  • To identify trends and concepts in contemporary global, regional and local social movements;
  • To critically analyse the impact of popular protest and social movements;
  • To understand the relationships among grass-roots and local organisations and their relationship with power.
  • To develop transferable oral and written employability skills (writing styles, DTP)


- Dilemmas of democracy and development and grassroots responses; Global development and counter-movements; New Technologies and protest; Movement of peoples –migration; Women, indigenous communities, culture and the Environment; Human rights and social justice; Case studies.

Learning and teaching

This module is taught over 15 weeks, made up of a two-hour lecture + workshop (in the lab) and an hour of seminar work. Students will be expected to engage with the Virtual Learning Environment and handle information from Internet sources, journals and books (enhancing academic literacy). As students acquire knowledge of issues, theories and themes under discussion, seminar work enhances communication and problem-solving skills (oral presentation and written summary); Students will become familiar with a variety of registers and be able to adapt to different examples of written and oral texts. Formative feedback aims to empower students, develop their oral and written expression and study skills, and gain through self-reflection .

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module students should:

  • Understand the notions and contemporary development strategies of global and grassroots social movements and how this may be transforming;
  • Be able to communicate effectively, including the ability to present using a variety of registers (written and orally);
  • Have developed research skills, including the ability to synthesise and analyse arguments, exercise critical judgement and develop informed opinion.

Assessment strategy

This takes three inter-related forms: Summative assessment includes a presentation with a written summary based on the results of the analysis (40%); An article using Desk-Top Publishing (60%). Formative assessment continues throughout the module developing summary skills, presentation skills and DTP skills.


Castells, M. (2010) The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture. Vol II. The Power of Identity, Blackwell (ebook)
Castells, M. (2015) Networks of outrage and hope: social movements in the Internet Age, Polity Press  (ebook)
Chadwick, A.(2006) Internet Politics: States, citizens and new communication technologies,  OUP
Eckstein, S.(ed) (2001) Power and Popular Protest: Latin American Social Movements, University of California Press
Escobar, A.(2011) Encountering Development, Princeton University Press
Feher, M. (2007) Nongovernmental Politics, MIT Press
Freire, P. (2000) Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Continuum
Fuchs, C.(2014) Occupy Media: the Occupy Movement and Social Media in the Crisis of Capitalism, John Hunt Publishing (e-book)
Green, D.& Fried, M.(2008) From Poverty to Power: How Active Citizens and Effective States Can Change the World, Oxfam
Heywood, L.(ed)(2006) The Women’s movement today: an encyclopedia of third-wave feminism, Greenwood Press
Iyer, R.R. (2007) Towards Water Wisdom, Sage Publications
Kingsbury, D. et al, (2004) Key Issues in Development, Palgrave MacMillan
Lacoste, Y.(1984) Ibn Khaldun: the birth of history and the past of the Third World, Verso
Massey, D.S. & Taylor, J.E. (2004) International Migration. Prospects and Policies in a Global Market,  OUP
McMichael (2009) Contesting Development, Critical struggles for social change, (e-book)
Munck, R.(ed) (2009) Globalisation and Migration: new issues, new politics, Routledge
Murrugarra, et al(eds)(2010) Migration and Poverty, World Bank (e-book)
Nieswand, B.(2011) Theorising Transnational Migration. The Status Paradox of Migration, Routledge (e-book)
Radcliffe, S. A.(ed) (2006) Culture and Development in a Globalizing World: Geographies, Actors and Paradigms, Routledge
Sachs, W. & Santarius, T (2007) Fair Future: Resource Conflicts, Security and Social Justice, Zed Books
Schumacher, E.(1978) Small is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered, Abacus
Scott, J.C.(1987) Weapons of the weak: Everyday forms of peasant resistance, Yale University Press
Shabbir, Cheema, G. (2005) Building Democratic Institutions. Governance Reform in Developing Countries, Kumarian Press
Shelley, T.(2007) Exploited: migrant labour in the new global economy, Zed books, (e-book)
Shiva, V. (2010) Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Development, Longman