IR 236 Contentious Politics and Social Movements

Political Science Field: Associated Courses
International Relations Track: Governance of Nations (C)
Typically offered rarely

Adam Cohon
Spring 2015 — T 14:00-16:40

From the salons of Rochester to the shipyards of Gdansk to streets of Cairo, ordinary people have joined together to act outside of regular political institutions and push for change. They have formed organizations to protest, used nonviolence and violence, and fought to keep movements alive. These movements persist despite great personal risk and costs for participants. In this course we examine why and how social movements begin, organize, and succeed or fail. We examine how leaders develop new protest techniques, and how elites try to counter or neutralize these activities. Finally, we explore the impact of protest on macro-level outcomes such as political liberalization, new conceptions of citizenship and public policy. The course ends with a study of contemporary pro-democracy protests in the Middle East, considering hypotheses on the new use of social media. Throughout the semester, students will apply course theories to social movement organizations of their choice in independent research projects. Note: The course is a seminar capped at 20 students. Students will be expected to participate actively in class and complete three short research papers over the course of the semester.

Adam Cohon
Spring 2014 — W 14:00-16:40

Course Syllabus

From the salons of Rochester to the shipyards of Gdansk to streets of Cairo, ordinary people have joined together to act outside of regular political institutions and push for change. They have formed organizations to protest, used nonviolence and violence, and fought to keep movements alive. These movements persist despite great personal risk and costs for participants. In this course we examine why and how social movements begin, organize, and succeed or fail. We examine how leaders develop new protest techniques, and how elites try to counter or neutralize these activities. Finally, we explore the impact of protest on macro-level outcomes such as political liberalization, new conceptions of citizenship and public policy. The course ends with a study of contemporary pro-democracy protests in the Middle East, considering hypotheses on the new use of social media. Throughout the semester, students will apply course theories to social movement organizations of their choice in independent research projects. Note: The course is a seminar capped at 20 students. Students will be expected to participate actively in class and complete three short research papers over the course of the semester.

Adam Cohon
Spring 2013 — M 14:00-16:40

Course Syllabus

From the salons of Rochester to the shipyards of Gdansk to streets of Cairo, ordinary people have joined together to act outside of regular political institutions and push for change. They have formed organizations to protest, used nonviolence and violence, and fought to keep movements alive. These movements persist despite great personal risk and costs for participants. In this course we examine why and how social movements begin, organize, and succeed or fail. We examine how leaders develop new protest techniques, and how elites try to counter or neutralize these activities. Finally, we explore the impact of protest on macro-level outcomes such as political liberalization, new conceptions of citizenship and public policy. The course ends with a study of contemporary pro-democracy protests in the Middle East, considering hypotheses on the new use of social media. Throughout the semester, students will apply course theories to social movement organizations of their choice in independent research projects. Note: The course is a seminar capped at 20 students. Students will be expected to participate actively in class and complete three short research papers over the course of the semester.