IR321 Half Unit
Revolutions and World Politics
This information is for the 2018/19 session.
Dr George Lawson CLM 5.12
This course is available on the BSc in International Relations, BSc in International Relations and History and BSc in Politics and International Relations. This course is not available as an outside option. This course is available with permission to General Course students.
Revolutions are often considered to be a ‘side order’ to the ‘main course’ of International Relations. But as this course explores, the lack of attention paid to revolutions is a mistake – revolutions have played a major part in the making of modern international order. From the ‘Atlantic Revolutions’ of the late 18th and early 19th centuries to the ‘colour revolutions’ of the early 21st century, revolutions have been constitutive of notions of sovereignty, order, justice, and more. Revolutions have also been tightly bound up with dynamics of war and peace. This course explores both the theory and practice of revolutions, teasing out their effects and examining the prospects for revolutionary change in the contemporary world.
List of Topics
Part 1 Thinking about revolutions
Week 1 What are revolutions?
Week 2 Key themes in the study of revolutions
Week 3 Revolutions and world politics
Part 2 The experience of revolution
Week 4 The Atlantic ‘age of revolutions’
Week 5 Socialist revolutions
(Week 6 Reading week – session on the assessed essay)
Week 7 ‘Third World’ revolutions
Week 8 The ‘last great revolution’?
Week 9 ‘Colour’ revolutions
Part 3 Revolution today
Week 10 The Arab uprisings
Week 11 Rethinking revolution
10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of classes in the LT.
The main aim of the course is to provide an opportunity for students to make informed judgments about how and in what ways revolutions have impacted on core features of modern international order. Additional aims include assessment of the place of revolution in the contemporary world and, more generally, the ability to connect theoretical arguments about revolutions with the substantive experience of revolutions.
Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.
Students will be expected to produce 1 essay and 1 other piece of coursework in the LT.
Students will produce 1 x 1,500 word essay in week 8 of LT.
Students will also submit a 2-3 page outline of the assessed essay in Week 10, receiving comments and feedback in Week 11.
Doug McAdam, Sidney Tarrow and Charles Tilly (2001) Dynamics of Contention (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
John Foran (2005) Taking Power (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
John Foran, David Lane and Andreja Zivkovic eds. (2008) Revolution in the Making of the Modern World (London: Routledge).
Jack Goldstone (2014) Revolutions: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, Oxford University Press).
Jeff Goodwin (2001) No Other Way Out (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
Fred Halliday (1999) Revolutions and World Politics (London: Palgrave).
Charles Kurzman (2008) Democracy Denied (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press).
Daniel Ritter (2015) Unarmed Revolutions (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
Eric Selbin (2010) Revolution, Rebellion, Resistance (London: Zed).
Theda Skocpol (1979) States and Social Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
Essay (70%, 3000 words) in the ST.
Presentation (10%) and coursework (20%) in the LT.
Summative assessment for the course is composed of a 3,000 word essay (70%);
weekly blog posts of 200 words each (20%) ,
and a group presentation (10%).
Department: International Relations
Total students 2017/18: 16
Average class size 2017/18: 16
Capped 2017/18: Yes (15)
Lecture capture used 2017/18: Yes (LT)
Value: Half Unit
- Team working
- Application of information skills