PLSC 410. Political Protests

Semester: Spring

Offered: 2019

The 2017 Women’s March, Black Lives Matter, the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong, the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, or the anti-WTO mobilization in Seattle in 1999 are only a few examples of well-known political protests. Political protests require that individuals coordinate and engage in collective action, but coordination is a difficult endeavor. Under which conditions do individuals coordinate and start protest actions? What does it favor participation in protests? Under which conditions can protests succeed?

This course addresses these and other questions related to the study of political protest. The course is divided into two parts. The first part analyzes the problem of collective action, delimits the concept of political protest and social movement, examines different forms of political contention, discusses methodological issues in the study of protest, investigates the individual and contextual determinants of protest participation, explores the political consequences of protests, and studies how new technologies influence protest actions today. The second part of the course discusses a series of theoretical approaches that seek to explain the origin and decline of social movements and protest.