SOAS University of London

Online Academic Summer School

The Politics of Protest, Development and Social Change (Online) (2022 entry)

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  • Teaching and Learning
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This course provides a critical introduction to the history, nature and impact of global protest. It analyses how social movements, NGOs and other civil society organisations have interacted and influenced each other and how they have globalised. It interrogates the notion of development as economic growth, assesses the critiques against NGOs as alternatives to state-led development and considers the concept and use of humanitarian intervention in diverse geographical contexts. The course also discusses the role of labour movements alongside social movements and explores the extent to which movements are posing a challenge to neoliberalism. Finally, it examines both the theoretical basis for social movement and NGO strategies for social change as well as their practical implications, and draws on a number of case studies, including the explosion of the climate justice movementand Black Lives Matter, and advances ideas about what kind of development and social change is possible under late capitalism.

For more information, please see the course handbook:  The Politics of Protest, Development and Social Change Handbook (pdf; 73kb)  

"This course changed the way I look at the world." - Anya, The Politics of Protest, Development and Social Change, 2020

"I was not expecting such in-depth and thought provoking discussion and to feel in such a safe and supportive place to voice my opinions" Jessie (The Politics of Protest, Development and Social Change, 2019)

"Amazing sessions, good discussions and an extremely open atmosphere" Solvej (The Politics of Protest, Development and Social Change, 2019)

What will I learn?

On successful completion of the module, students should have:

  • A critical understanding of the key theoretical debates on social movements and NGOs, including an understanding of the various roles these forces play in processes of development and social change.
  • An understanding of the nature and history of social protest since the 1960s.
  • An understanding of the relationships between NGOs and a range of other development actors, including the state, and knowledge of how these relationships have evolved.
  • A capacity to identify, understand and critique a range of theoretical approaches for understanding contemporary protest, and apply these approaches to practical case studies.

For further information on credits, entry requirements and fees, please visit our Online Learning webpage.

If you have any questions, please fill out our enquiries form.

Venue: Online Learning

Start of programme: 18 July - 29 July 2022

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Entry requirements

  • A university student or a graduate at the time of attending the summer school, and 18+ years of age. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.

Featured events

2 weeks

Tuition Fees 2022




Programme schedule:

Topic 1: Contemporary protest, states and the question of democracy
Topic 2: Neoliberal development and the resurgence of NGOs
Topic 3: Imperialism, humanitarianism and anti-imperialism
Topic 4: Labour organising and the power of the strike
Topic 5: Racism, identity and the rise of Black Lives Matter
Topic 6: Climate emergency and the global climate justice movement
Topic 7: What kind of social change?

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

The programme is delivered online through a Virtual Learning Environment (intranet page) that sets out the readings for each week, the guiding questions for discussion and hosts the discussion boards. This page provides a platform to share other material such as videos, internet links, quizzes and feedback on assignments. Students also have access to a vast amount of academic and policy-related material through the SOAS library.

Time Commitment
Courses are taught intensively over two weeks between Monday - Friday. Students should expect to spend between 4-6 hours per day completing course related activities including video lectures, live tutorials, readings, forum discussion and assignments. Students studying for credit will submit a 2000-2500 word written assignment one week after the course finishes.

Navigating Time Zones
Courses have been designed with varying time zones in mind. All lectures will be recorded for access at any time and the discussion forum is open to posts from students at all times. The limited 'live' sessions will be scheduled between 13:00 - 15:00 BST and will be recorded for any students unable to attend.

Students that successfully complete all course assessments will be awarded 15 SOAS credits. This is normally equivalent to 7.5 ECTS or 4 US credits. If you intend to transfer credit to your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you apply.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees


Application fee

A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £40 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.


Save £200 when if apply by 30th April 

10% discount if you apply for two courses over 4 weeks

20% discount for SOAS Alumni (including Academic Summer School alumni)

20% discount for our partner institutions

Other discounts are available for groups. Please contact us for more information.


For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section


How to Apply

Apply now to secure your place.

Once you have paid the £40 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the course within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.

Application Deadline

We are accepting applications on a rolling basis. Apply now to secure your place.

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