91142 - Political Effects Of Social Mobilization

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Gender equality Decent work and economic growth Reduced inequalities Climate Action

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course aims at developing an encompassing knowledge of the outcomes that social mobilizations have at the level of politics and policies. At the end of the course, students will be able to: - critically discuss the main approaches related to the outcomes of social mobilizations at the level of politics and policies; - compare the political effects of social mobilitazions across different countries and different territorial levels; - evaluate specific cases of social mobilizations with regard to their intended and unintended political effects.

Course contents

The course will focus on both theories and practices related to the political effects of social mobilizations.

Students are required to read the assigned material before the class carefully, and active participation through presentations of existing scholarship and case studies will also be expected.

Each week, the course will tackle a different question related to its overall theme, according to the following schedule.

Week 1

Introduction to the course and lecture on what we talk about when we talk about social movements

Week 2

Which types of outcomes can social movements achieve in the realm of politics?

Week 3

Which are the endogenous and exogenous factors that shape social movements' outcomes?

Week 4

How do we measure social movements' outcomes?

Week 5

What happens to social movement actors when they enter the arena of institutional politics?

Week 6

How do political consequences of social movements change when we move from Western to non-Western countries?

Week 7

What dynamics affect political outcomes of social movements when the political contexts are unstable and violent?

Week 8

Do digital media have the ability to change, and how, the dynamics that characterize social movements' outcomes?

Week 9

What happens to social movement outcomes when we move from domestic to transnational issues?

Week 10

Are political consequences the only kinds of outcomes that social movements might achieve?

The detailed syllabus containing all the topics, activities, and related specific readings of the course will be distributed and presented during the first introductory class. Please note that the topics covered during classes might be subject to slight variations.


Students are required to study a list of book chapters, essays and articles that will be distributed the first day of class. These compulsory readings will be listed in the syllabus distributed and discussed the first day of class.

Teaching methods

The course will be based on short lectures combined with in-class activities and students’ presentations.

Assessment methods

Students will be evaluated through three main tools:

  • Take-home exam with three open-ended questions (30%)
  • Two in-class presentations, each presenting a case study related to one of the main issues to be addressed during the course (20%)
  • Two in-class commentaries, each on one of the readings assigned for class (20%)
  • A final paper of 4,000 words about one of the topics covered during the course (30%)

More detailed information on the take-home exam, in-class presentations, in-class commentaries, and the final paper will be included in the syllabus distributed in September and discussed on the first day of class.

Please note that the assessment tools might slightly vary according to the number of students who will enroll in the course.

Teaching tools

Power Point presentations, multi-media materials, and practical exercises will support teaching and learning activities.

Office hours

See the website of Alice Mattoni