This course provides a critical introduction to the history, nature and impact of global protest in the context of neoliberal development and the rise of the NGO industry. It analyses how social movements and NGOs have interacted and influenced each other and how they have globalised. It questions the notion of development as economic growth, assesses the critiques against NGOs as alternatives to state-led development models and considers the concept and use of humanitarian intervention in diverse geographical contexts. It also discusses the role of labour and labour organising alongside social movements and explores the extent to which movements are posing a challenge to neoliberal and capitalist development. 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 growing climate justice movement, exploring what kind of development and social change is possible.
A theoretical consideration of social movements and their relationships to neoliberalism is an important theme for students of Development Studies. The case studies will complement the theory, providing students a comprehensive overview of the conditions of protest in the current global context and the potential for social change. Discussion of the various case studies will equip students with the capacity to analyse questions of strategy in relation to political context. Students will also have the opportunity to discuss and analyse relevant films that examine case studies. Students will conduct field research by participating in a protest or demonstration in London during the course, and undertaking a short practical exercise, either a photo essay or short video of the protest, which they will present to their classmates in the final tutorials. This exercise highlights the importance of experience and participation, strategy and intervention, in addition to observation and analysis of protest movements.
On successful completion of the course, the student should possess:
- 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 social movements, and apply these approaches to practical case studies.
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 a Record of Study will be available on request.
For more information, please fill out our enquiry form
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: 1 July - 19 July 2019
Mode of Attendance: Full-time
- 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.
- 3 weeks
Tuition Fees 2019
- Tuition fee:
Week 1: Social movements and development
- Social movements, states and civil society
- Neoliberal development and the resurgence of NGOs
- Contemporary protest and the question of democracy
Week 2: Crisis, humanitarian intervention and the power of labour
- Imperialism, humanitarianism and anti-imperialism
- Trade union renewal and social movement unionism
- Lobour and labour organising
Week 3: The politics of protest and change
- NGOs accountability, legitimacy and power
- Climate crisis and the global climate justice movement
- NGOs, social movements and the left
- 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.
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 & Learning
46 hours (lectures, tutorials, activities). The course will be delivered Monday - Friday over the 3 weeks.
Monday - Friday, 10am-3pm. 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).
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.
20% discount for our partner institutions
Accommodation is available to Summer School students at the SOAS halls of residence, Dinwiddy House. For more details of how to book a room please visit the Dinwiddy House accommodation page.
The SOAS Academic Summer School is delighted to offer three tuition-fee waiver scholarships to passionate students with a desire to make a difference in the world.
The scholarships will cover the tuition fee for one Academic Summer School course in 2019.
Application Deadline: 2019-04-12 00:00
For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section
How to Apply
In order to join the Academic Summer School, students should meet the following entry requirements:
- A university student or a graduate at the time of attending. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
- Participants must be 18 or over at the time of attendance.
- Fluency in English language is recommended for non-credit courses, but essential for SOAS Accredited courses. Proficiency can be demonstrated through:
- 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.
- If you are unsure whether you meet the above entry requirements, please contact us to discuss your application.
Enrolment of applicants who do not meet the entry requirements is at the discretion of SOAS – please get in touch to speak to us about your application and we will be happy to help.
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 summer school within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.
Applications now accepted on a rolling basis for all courses