SO4B8      Half Unit
Internationalism and Solidarity

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ayca Cubukcu STC.S113


This course is available on the MSc in Human Rights, MSc in Human Rights and Politics and MSc in Political Sociology. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course has a limited number of places (it is controlled access). Places are allocated based on a written statement, with priority given to students on the MSc in Human Rights, MSc in Human Rights and Politics and MSc in Political Sociology. This may mean that not all students who apply will be able to get a place on this course.

Course content

The principle of national self-determination has been a hallmark of anti-imperialist politics, in both Marxist and Liberal traditions, at least since the First World War. This principle has enshrined a political distinction between “nationals” and “foreigners,” while internationalism and cosmopolitanism, in their various, historically specific articulations, have served as the ground of transnational solidarity where attempts have been made to bridge the posited gap between (self-determining) nationals and (solidarity-performing) foreigners. Given the frequent overlap, in theory and practice, between visions of internationalism and cosmopolitanism on the one hand, and the remarkable internal variation—to the extent that two different and coherent bodies of thought can be said to exist in the first place—within internationalism and cosmopolitanism on the other, how should we think about the divergences and convergences between these two visions? When different versions of internationalism and cosmopolitanism as expounded and practiced by various theological traditions are added to the matrix along with their feminist, anarchist, regionalist, Third-Worldist, nationalist and militarist articulations, the nature of these phenomena proves too complicated to grasp in a single breath. This course aims to examine this problem by addressing the complications that arise in attempts to define, critique, and practice various strands of internationalism and cosmopolitanism. Cases considered will include the Comintern, feminist solidarity, anarchist internationalism, Third-Worldism, human rights and liberal internationalism, and Black internationalism.


This course is delivered through seminars totalling a minimum of 20 hours in the LT; teaching arrangements may be adjusted if online teaching is required at any point.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the LT.

Abstract (700 words) and bibliography of the summative essay to be submitted in week 8.

Indicative reading

This is an indicative list. Titles may vary year to year.

  • Kant, Perpetual Peace and Other Essays;
  • Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto;
  • Lenin, Right of Nations to Self-Determination;
  • Hallas, The Comintern;
  • CLR James, World Revolution;
  • Mohanty, Feminism Without Borders;
  • Anderson, Under Three Flags: Anarchism and the Anti-Colonial Imagination;
  • Hemmings, Considering Emma Goldman;
  • Prashad, Darker Nations;
  • Gilroy, Postcolonial Melancholia;
  • Hopgood, Keepers of the Flame;
  • Moyn, Last Utopia;
  • Chun-Mu, Radicals on the Road: Internationalism, Orientalism, and Feminism during the Vietnam Era
  • Makalani, In the Cause of Freedom: Radical Black Internationalism from Harlem to London, 1917-1939;
  • Wilder, Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization and the Future of the World;
  • Mahler, From the Tricontinental to the Global South: Race, Radicalism, and Transnational Solidarity;
  • Boaventura de Sousa Santos, The Rise of the Global Left: The World Social Forum and Beyond


Research paper (90%) in the ST.
Class participation (10%) in the LT.

The 5,000-word research paper will be due by the first Thursday of Summer Term.

An electronic copy of the assessed essay, to be uploaded to Moodle, no later than 4.00pm on the submission day.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2020/21: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication