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Power and Social Conflict (Module)

Module description

Power and Social Conflict provides a political-sociological perspective on the structures and practice of power as experienced by citizens in comparative perspective. Through the exploration and analysis of social conflicts, social and protest movements, and the complex interactions between social groups, political and economic elites, bureaucracies, the media and legal and political institutions, students will gain an understanding of the interwoven processes of social, economic and political transformation as seen from the grassroots. And, in providing a bottom-up analytical alternative to top-down perspectives on democracy and authoritarianism, the module underscores the importance of studying informal and horizontal social institutions, particularly in non-Western contexts. The module combines theoretical and comparative study with hand-on training and practice in using digital methods to gather and analyse data on protest movements.

Throughout the module, students will engage simultaneously with theoretical and empirical approaches to the study and understanding of social movements, mobilization and political contestation, as well as with a close observation of social and political phenomena in contemporary case studies, drawn from Russia, Ukraine, Egypt, Turkey, Argentina, Spain, the United States and elsewhere. Students will then apply their theoretical and empirical knowledge and understanding in a case study of an instance of contestation.

Power and Social Conflict complements the core instruction on programmes in the King's Russia Institute and elsewhere in the School of Politics and Economics, by providing a perspective of politics and governance as a lived social experience. In addition, the module will be of interest to students of social movements, protest, authoritarian and semi-authoritarian politics and related topics.

*Please note that module information is indicative and may change from year to year.

Staff information

Not applicable

Teaching pattern

Weekly two-hour lecture and seminar  

Module assessment - more information

  • 1 x 2,000-word essay (50% of the final mark);
  • 1 x 2,000-word case study (50% of the final mark)

Key information

Module code 7YYR0010

Credit level 7

Assessment coursework

Credit value 20

Semester Semester 2 (spring)

Study abroad module Yes