Mobilizations, Civil Society, and Global Politics – syllabus
(SOCI 3025 / 4 credits)
This course explores global politics from the bottom up and top down. Drawing on sociology, political anthropology, and political science, including recent scholarship on populism and digital activism, this course examines citizens’ and non-citizens’ responses to (neo)colonialism, global governance, and the neoliberal world order. It examines how “civil society” has and continues to be constituted and how it operates in contemporary United States, Brazil, France, Belgium, and Senegal. This course takes a critical approach to citizenship and civil society, exploring how these notions are defined and contested by different parties. Attention will be given to a range of mobilizations, as they intersect with various forms of human interconnectedness, illustrate different degrees of social capital, and emerge out of contexts holding different possibilities and constraints. Understandings of political action will be expanded to include actions people carry out in public space and/or in the “public sphere,” but also forms of agency that are less public or visible, “weapons of the weak” (Scott). Different kinds of mobilizations, from “imagined communities” uniting over social media to protesters taking the streets, will serve as examples to understand the intersections of mobilizations, civil society, and national and global politics in the US, Brazil, France, Belgium, and Senegal.