Political Science | International Relations
Y669 | 12137 | Rasler

Topic:  Theories of Political Contention

This course analyzes the major theories of the origins and
characteristics of collective dissent within polities - riots,
protest cycles, civil wars, ethnic strife and revolutions.  We will
also be interested in politically contentious events (i.e., strikes,
demonstrations, social movement mobilizations) that have the
potential for but do not always produce violence. The reading list
surveys the major developments and debates in the area although it
is not comprehensive.  This topic has a strong interdisciplinary
focus that combines the most recent works in political science,
sociology and economics.
Participants are required to read weekly assignments and take an
active role in class discussions.  An empirical (qualitative or
quantitative) research paper is also required.  The paper must test
at least one theoretical proposition(s) or compare and contrast one
or more theoretical models that pertain to the course topic.  Your
analysis must involve an examination of at least two cases of
collective dissent that vary on the dependent variable. The paper
will NOT BE A DESCRIPTION of two or more cases; it will be a
theoretically informed study involving a clearly specified
comparative method.  The theoretical section of the paper (that
includes a review of   relevant theoretical and empirical works)
must have at least ten recent (i.e. within last ten years) citations
that are not listed on the syllabus.