Course Title: Social Movements in Global and Historical Context

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Social Movements in Global and Historical Context

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban & Social Studies


Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015

Course Coordinator: Dr Julian CH Lee

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 4330

Course Coordinator

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course you will explore the ways in which civil society organisations, social movements, and individuals at different times and places have sought to bring about social and political change in both specific and global contexts. Non-government organisations and social movements have played an increasingly influential and important role in shaping policy and practice in a wide array of fields. This course you will critically examine a variety of movements as well as mechanisms by which movements exert their influence. You will critically evaluate social movements working in areas including human rights, democratisation, and the environment. You will analyse the utility of various methods of deployed by social movements including engaging with governments and United Nations mechanisms, and violent and non-violent protest. You will also develop a grounded knowledge of some of the key processes used by many social movements in pursuit of their objectives.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Draw on social movement studies literature to describe and analyse the key features of social movements operating in diverse contexts
  • Compare and contrast the objectives and modes of operation of a number of key social movements from around the world
  • Critically analyse the methods by which civil society organisations and individuals have developed their movements over time
  • Assess the utility of varieties of strategies used by social movements in pursuit of their goals

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be engaged in learning that involves a range of activities including face to face and online lectures, workshops and individual research.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program capabilities. Assessment may include reports, projects and presentations, individually and in groups. Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning. You will be able to develop your work in relation to your own specific areas of interest in your professional practice. Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: