MSc Environmental Governance

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Protest and Progress: Understanding Movements for Social and Political Change

Course unit fact file
Unit code SOCY60142
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This course explores the following weekly topics:

  1. Introduction to Social Movements
  2. Rationality and Resource Mobilization
  3. Political Opportunities, Political Processes and Contentious Politics
  4. New Social Movements and Collective Identity
  5. Interpretative Frames, Ideologies and Movement Culture
  6. Strategies for Success? Understanding the Impacts of Movements
  7. Technology and Transnational Activism
  8. Beyond Social Movements: From Resistance to Revolution
  9. Social Movement Studies and the Global South
  10. Summary & Conclusion


This course aims to offer a detailed account of various ways of understanding social and political movements. Theories operating at different levels of analysis - individual, group and society - will be critically assessed for their ability to illuminate the process and structures evident in social movement action.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to:

•Identify and critically assess competing approaches to understanding social movements.

•Understand the evolutions of a range of historical and contemporary social movements.

•Analyze the value of different theories of social movements in relation to empirical materials.

Assessment methods

Written assignment (3000 word essay) 100%

Recommended reading

Required readings will be made available electronically via the course website.

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Simin Fadaee Unit coordinator

Return to course details