SOAS University of London

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

Global Advocacy

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Taught in:
Term 1

This module provides an advanced introduction to global advocacy.  The aim of the module is to teach the theories and skills that allow an individual to be a more effective in achieving their advocacy objectives. The module aims to illustrate how to influence policy at the international, rather than national, level. The module equips students to effect the policy changes necessary to meet the aims of the non-governmental and international organizations they might be working for or associated with. In short, this module focuses upon advocates who wish to achieve change at the global level, networking across national boundaries and on global issues. The general module aims are to introduce students to social movements theories and how they apply to international advocacy and provide a good grasp of the international environment in which advocates operate and the issues they might face. The module will also provide students with a good grasp of the concepts and skills of advocacy.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

By the end of the module students will:

  • understand the main features of advocacy,
  • understand social movement theories and examples of their analysis,
  • critically think about social movements and advocacy, allowing them to reach analytical conclusions,
  • have a sophisticated understanding of the issues facing social movements and advocates
  • have a strong grasp of the skills needed to function as effective advocates
  • have strong essay writing and presentation skills.


This module is taught in a 2 hour seminar over 10 weeks. 

Scope and syllabus


  1. The global advocacy environment
  2. Understanding the international domain
  3. Understanding networks
  4. Networks – actors
  5. Networks – ideas
  6. Opportunity structures
  7. Achieving policy change
  8. Making issues salient
  9. Utilising the media
  10. Understanding levers of change

Method of assessment

  • Assignment (3000 words); 90%
  • Presentations x 2; 10%

Suggested reading

  • Keck, Margaret E and Kathryn Sikkink (1998) Activist beyond borders (Cornell)
  • Della Porta, Donatella, Hanspeter Kriesi and Dieter Rucht (eds) (2009) Social Movements in a Globalizing world 2009 (2nd edition) (Palgrave McMillan)
  • Stark, Gene (1994) From Dictatorship to Democracy (free online resource)
  • Mason, Paul (2012) Why its kicking off everywhere (Verso)
  • Slaughter, Anne-Marie (2004) A new world order (Princeton University Press)
  • Peterson, Abby, 'Review essay: Social Movement Theory' Acta Sociologica 1989 32(4) pp.419-426
  • Kriesti, Hanspeter, 'The Political Opportunity Structure of New Social Movements: Its impact on their mobilizations' in Jenkins, Craig J and Bert Klandermans (eds) The Politics of Social Protest 1995 (London: UCL Press Limited)


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules