SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

The Politics of Solidarity and Transnationalism in the Arab World

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2019/2020
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Taught in:
Term 2

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  • Engage critically with theoretical approaches to solidarity within the disciplines of politics, history and geography
  • Demonstrate knowledge of empirical case examples of solidarity and transnational connection from the colonial period to the present day
  • Use primary sources in researching and retrieving discourses and practices of solidarity
  • Demonstrate strong oral and written analytical and argumentation skills


Two-hour seminar per week

Scope and syllabus

  • Introduction: What is Solidarity? Where is Solidarity?
  • Theoretical Approaches: Relation, Identity, Affect
  • Capital, Labour and Nationalism: Students and Workers in Colonial Egypt and Algeria 
  • Race, Gender, and Difference: Women Writers and the ‘Bandung Spirit’
  • Communities of States in Decolonisation: Arabism, Afro-Asianism and Nonalignment in the Cold War
  • Between Nationalism and Internationalism: Arabist and Pan-African Political Traditions
  • Songs of Solidarity: Protest Cultures in the Global 1960s
  • Strategies and Practices: Comparing Anti-apartheid and BDS Campaigns
  • Coalitions and Examples: From the Antiwar Movement to the Arab Uprisings
  • Balances of Power: R2P and the Politics of Intervention in the Arab World

Method of assessment

Assessment is 50% Coursework (comprising one 2500 words essay),  and a 50% unseen examination.

Suggested reading

Selected readings:

  • Abdalla, Ahmed. The Student Movement and National Politics in Egypt: 1923-1973. London: Al Saqi, 1985.
  • Byrne, Jeffrey. Mecca of Revolution: Algeria, Decolonization, and the Third World Order. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Chalcraft, John. Popular Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.
  • Çubukçu, Ayca. “The Responsibility to Protect: Libya and the Problem of Transnational Solidarity,” Journal of Human Rights, special issue on Humanitarianism and Responsibility, 12(1), 2013: 40-58.
  • Featherstone, David. Solidarity: Hidden Histories and Geographies of Internationalism, Zed Books, 2012.
  • Lee, Christopher ed., Making a World After Empire: The Bandung Moment and its Political Afterlives, Athens: Ohio University Press, 2010. Especially chapters by Lee, Bier, and Chakrabarty.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules