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Globalisation and Movements for Change

Code KD615
Module Status Elective
Facilitator Eilish Dillon
Contact Hours 25 hours
Credits 5


Apply for Single Module Study

Module Aim

This course aims to develop learners’ understanding of and ability to critically analyse movements for change in the context of globalisation.

Module Objectives

  • To develop learners’ understanding of key debates related to social and political movements for change in the context of globalisation.
  • To give learners an opportunity to critically reflect on key issues related to movements for change, e.g., power, ethics, organisation and activism strategies.
  • To develop comparative and analytical skills with reference to various case studies.

Module Learning Outcomes

  • Learners will have an understanding of key theoretical debates related to social and political movements for change.
  • Learners will appreciate the complexity of power, identity and ethical issues related to different movements for change
  • Learners will have gained some insight into how movements are ‘organised’ on a local-global scale.
  • Learners will be able to analyse movements for change with reference to their approach to change and democracy, their justice perspective and with regard to their leadership and activism strategies.

Module Content

Introduction to Key Debates

  • Movements for Change – Introductory Understandings and Key Debates: What kind of change? What kind of movement?

Comparing Social and Political Movements in the Context of Globalisation and Power

  • Power, Identity and Social Movements for Change: Focus the Women’s and Gay Rights Movements.
  • Revolution, Democracy and Change: Are all movements revolutionary? Should progressive movements be democratic? Does revolution signal change? Focus on the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement.

Movements for Change – Ethics, Organisation and Leadership

  • Conflict and the Ethics of Change: Does the end justify the means? Movements for Justice and Human Rights – what works? Focus on Amnesty International, the Tea Party Movement, the IRA and the movement for democracy in Burma.
  • The ‘organisation’ of Movements – Networks and Meshworks: The influence of Civil Society Organisations and NGOs on contemporary social movements. Focus on the Tanzania Gender Networking Programme and the World Social Forum.
  • Leadership and Change: the role of the leader in movements for change; how movements challenge discourses and re-frame realities. Focus on the Anti-Apartheid Movement and Gandhi.

Activism Strategies and Movements for Change

  • The Impact of Globalisation on the Activism Strategies of Social and Political Movements: new challenges, new opportunities, e.g., Transnational Activism and Transnational Advocacy Networks, e.g., Debt movements, environmental rights movements, indigenous rights movements
  • Social Media and Social Change: Is social media an instrument or a catalyst of social change or both? Can Facebook really change the world?
  • Where to Start with Realising Change: advocacy, alternative media, campaigning and movement forging.


Details of assessment and up to date reading lists for this module will be made available to learners following enrolment.

Please note that this description is subject to change.

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