NGOs and Social Movements: The Politics of Protest and Change
Mode of Attendance: Full-time
Session 2: 4 July- 22 July 2016
This course provides a critical introduction to NGOs, the nature and impact of social protest, how they have interacted and influenced each other, and how they have globalised. It questions the perception that NGOs offer an alternative to state-led or top-down development models, considers the concept and the use of humanitarian intervention in diverse contexts and explores the extent to which social movements are posing a challenge to neoliberalism. It examines both the theoretical basis for NGO and social movement strategies for social change as well as their practical implications, and draws on a number of case studies, exploring what kind of development and change is possible.
The massive expansion of the NGO sector around the world since the 1980s is widely recognised. At the same time, the emergence of neoliberalism has directed the shift from public to private sector-led development, including the privatisation of aid. NGOs have been a vital part of this shift, with increasingly significant roles in mainstream development processes and increased access to state funds. The rise of NGOs into a veritable global industry has been matched by a diversification in the types of roles NGOs play in society. In addition to delivering relief and promoting social and economic development, NGOs have increasingly taken part in broader governance, democratisation and peacebuilding efforts.
Students will conduct field research by participating in a protest or demonstration and undertaking a short practical exercise, either a photo essay or short video, which they will present to their classmates on the last day. There will also be various film screenings, followed by debate and discussion as well as guest lecturers, who will share different aspects of the challenges of NGOs and social movements, from a professional perspective.
A tuition fee of £1450 will be charged per 3 week programme. This figure does not include accommodation fees.
An early bird discount of 10% is available if fees are paid by 31 March 2016.
15% discount for SOAS Alumni or if you take a combination of sessions 2 and 3.
20% discount for current SOAS students and our partner institutions.
Other discounts are available for groups, please contact us for further information.
A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £60 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.
Accommodation is available at an extra fee of £700 for 20 nights. For more details of how to reserve a room please visit our accommodation page.
Students are usually able to obtain credits from their home institution and typically our courses receive 3 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. If you intend to claim credits from your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you enrol. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to award credits rests with your home institution.
Assessment will be optional and will vary for each course. Participants will be provided with a certificate of attendance and transcripts will be available on request.
You will also be able to enjoy our social programme, starting with a welcome party and an optional river cruise on the Thames for a small additional charge. Details about how to book will be communicated to you once you are registered. You will also receive discount codes for day trips and overnight tours with our partner International Friends.
For more information, please fill out our enquiry form
Contact hours: 46 hours (lectures, tutorials, activities). The course will be delivered Monday - Friday over the 3 weeks.
Core hours: Monday - Thursday 10am-3pm, and 2 hours on one specified Friday over the 3 weeks.
Optional hours: In addition to regular lectures and tutorials, each course is composed of a range of 'activities' relating to their academic content (e.g. museum visit, company visit etc). On Fridays, all courses open up one of their activities to all summer school students and these are optional. For example, if you have been studying a Development course, you may choose to join an activity belonging to a Politics, Economics and Environment course. All activities will be staggered throughout the day so that you have a chance to take as many as possible. Please note however that the Friday activity relating to the course you are registered on is compulsory.
Week 1: NGOs, social movements and development
- Neoliberal development and the resurgence of NGOs
- Social movements, states and civil society
- Contemporary protest and the question of democracy
Week 2: The role of NGOs in humanitarian crises
- NGOs and the new humanitarianism
- Crisis, war and humanitarian intervention
- The liberal peace and its discontents
Week 3: The politics of protest and change
- NGOs, social movements and the left
- The urban and the right to the city
- NGOs, social movements and labour organising
- What kind of social change?
Assessment: is optional and will be in the form of a 2000-2500 word essay to be handed in 2 weeks after the end of the course.
Teaching & Learning
Teaching & Learning
On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:
- A critical understanding of the key theoretical debates on NGOs, including an understanding of the various roles both international and national NGOs play in processes of development and social change.
- An understanding of the relationships between NGOs and a range of other development actors, and knowledge of how these relationships have evolved.
- A capacity to identify, understand and critique a range of theoretical approaches for understanding contemporary development NGOs and apply these approaches to practical case studies of NGOs.
How to Apply
In order to join our Summer School, you will need to meet the following entry requirements:
- Participants have to be 18 or over at the time of attendance.
- A minimum English language requirement if English is not your first language:
- IELTS, 6.5 overall or higher, with at least 6 in all sub scores.
- TOEFL Paper based test we require a minimum of 583 with minimum 53 in all skills and for TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 93 with minimum 20 in all skills.
- Pearson Test of English a score of 59-64
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Grade B
- If you have studied in an English speaking institution, or have courses taught at your university in English (excluding English language courses) you may meet our requirements without having to supply a certificate. Evidence of this will either need to be included on a transcript or letter from your university.
- Applicants with an alternative qualification should contact us for advice.
- Applicants whose English language level do not meet out requirements may be interested in our subject based courses with English language support.
Once you have paid the £60 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the summer school within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.
The application deadline is 24 May 2016.
A Student's Perspective
SOAS has given me the space to ask questions of myself and of my studies which I hadn’t had before, it gives you the academic and ideological freedom to explore your own ideas. This has been really important for me, and changed the way I address challenges and experiences more generally.