Political Participation and Protest

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Political Participation and Protest

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Anthropology, Sociology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This course is designed to introduce students to the various issues concerning the forms, causes and content of political participation (and non-participation) in contemporary mature and less advanced democracies.

    Learning objectives
    Knowledge and Undertanding.
    The student has acquired knowledge and understanding of:
    (1) the theories of and empirical research into patterns of electoral participation, protest, radical/extremist behaviour and non-participation;
    (2) the challenges of contemporary developments - such as globalization, migration, individualization, austerity policies and democratization - on the degree and contents of political participation in various societies.

    The student has acquired the competences to:
    (3) relate these theories and empirical research to theories of social structures and groups, the degree and patterns of political participation in contemporary democracies, and the differences between societies thereof;

    Making judgements.
    The student is able to:
    (4) take a critical stance in contemporary debates over political (non)participation, protest and radicalism;
    (5) critically reflect on the question whether current advanced and less advanced democracies experience a legitimacy crisis.

    Countries in the world differ in their levels and the types of political participation. Western democracies offer their citizens a whole variety of opportunities to express their preferences to political power holders, ranging from electoral political participation like voting, party or association membership, contacting political actors etc. to non-electoral participation, most often protest behavior, such as demonstrating, petitioning, striking, boycotting but also more radical activities. In less advanced democracies and democratizing countries, some types of political participation might be less effective (e.g. voting) or risky (e.g. protesting), so citizens tend to embark in the action that best fits the political context. We will analyze the intended and unintended ways in which contemporary developments affect the degree, forms and contents of political (non-)participation in the different contexts. Attention will be paid to both electoral political participation (voting), as well as non-electoral political participation (protest), radicalization and extremism.


    Final exam

    Open as an elective course for Exchange students.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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