This course provides a critical introduction to the history, nature and impact of social protest and social movements, the politics of neoliberal development and rise of NGOs into a global industry. It analyses how social movements and NGOs have interacted and influenced each other, and how they have globalised. It questions the notion of development as economic growth, assesses the critiques against NGOs as alternatives to state-led development models, considers the concept and the use of humanitarian intervention in diverse contexts, discusses the role of labour and labour organising alongside social movements and explores the extent to which movements are posing a challenge to neoliberal and capitalist development. Finally, it examines both the theoretical basis for social movement and NGO strategies for social change as well as their practical implications, and draws on a number of case studies, exploring what kind of development and social change is possible.
A theoretical consideration of social movements and their relationships to neoliberalism is an important theme for students of Development Studies. The case studies will complement the theory, providing students with a comprehensive overview of the conditions of protest in the current global context and the potential for social change. Discussion of the various case studies will equip students with the capacity to analyse questions of strategy in relation to the political context. Students will also have the opportunity to discuss and analyse relevant films that examine case studies. Students will conduct field research by participating in a protest or demonstration in London during the course, and undertaking a short practical exercise, either a photo essay or short video of the protest, which they will present to their classmates in the final tutorials. This exercise highlights the importance of experience and participation, in addition to the observation and analysis of protest movements.
On successful completion of the course, the student should possess:
- A critical understanding of the key theoretical debates on social movements and NGOs, including an understanding of the various roles these forces play in processes of development and social change.
- An understanding of the nature and history of social protest since the 1960s.
- An understanding of the relationships between NGOs and a range of other development actors, including the state, and knowledge of how these relationships have evolved.
- A capacity to identify, understand and critique a range of theoretical approaches for understanding contemporary social movements, and apply these approaches to practical case studies.
Students are usually able to obtain credits from their home institution and typically our courses receive 3 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. If you intend to claim credits from your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you enrol. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however, please be aware that the decision to award credits rests with your home institution.
Assessment will be optional and will vary for each course. Participants will be provided with a certificate of attendance and a Record of Study will be available on request.
Week 1: Social movements and development
- Social movements, states and civil society
- Neoliberal development and the resurgence of NGOs
- Contemporary protest, democracy and development
Week 2: Crisis, war and humanitarian intervention
- The new imperialism and the War on Terror
- The liberal peace and its discontents
- NGO accountability, legitimacy and power
Week 3: The politics of protest and change
- NGOs, social movements and the left
- Labour and labour organising
- Social movement unionism
- What kind of social change?
Assessment: is optional and will be in the form of a 2000-2500 word essay to be handed in 2 weeks after the end of the course.
Teaching & Learning
46 hours (lectures, tutorials, activities). The course will be delivered Monday - Friday over the 3 weeks.
Monday - Friday, 10am-3pm. In addition to regular lectures and tutorials, each course is composed of a range of activities relating to their academic content (e.g. museum visit, company visit etc.).
Fees and Funding
A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £40 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.
- 10% discount if you apply by 31 March 2019.
- 20% discount for our partner institutions.
Accommodation is available to Summer School students at the SOAS halls of residence, Dinwiddy House.
In order to join our Summer School, you will need to meet the following entry requirements:
- A university student or a graduate at the time of attending the summer school, and 18+ years of age.
- Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
- A minimum English language requirement if English is not your first language:
- IELTS, 6.5 overall or higher, with at least 6 in all subscores.
- TOEFL Paper-based test we require a minimum of 583 with minimum 53 in all skills and for TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 93 with a minimum of 20 in all skills.
- Pearson Test of English a score of 59-64.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Grade B.
- If you have studied in an English speaking institution, or have courses taught at your university in English (excluding English language courses), you may meet our requirements without having to supply a certificate. Evidence of this will either need to be included on a transcript or letter from your university.
- Applicants with an alternative qualification should contact us for advice.
- Applicants whose English language level do not meet out requirements may be interested in our subject-based courses with English language support.
Enrolment of Summer School applicants who don’t meet the entry requirements is at the discretion of SOAS – please get in touch to speak to us in detail about your application.
Once you have paid the £40 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the summer school within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.
31 May 2019