Protest Politics in a Post-Political Age: Reform, Resistance or Revolution? POLITIC4161

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores the theories of post-politics and depoliticisation to address the complexities and paradoxes of contemporary politics under neoliberalism. It applies the theory to an empirical study of range of political protest movements such as the Occupy movement, the Zapatistas, the Chilean student movement, the Gezi Park protests, the resurgence of anarchism, the radical independence campaign and the Arab Spring revolutions.


'This course may not be running this year. For further information please check the Politics Moodle page or contact the subject directly'

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Entry to Honours Politics requires a grade point average of 12 (Grade C) over Politics 2A and Politics 2B as a first attempt.

Excluded Courses



■ Essay 2,000-2,500 words (40%)

■ Exam two questions out of six in two hours (50%)

■ Seminar participation, including engagement in a debate (10%). Where applicable (e.g. power point presentations), written material will also be submitted. Adjustments and/or alternative modes of assessment will be available for students with disabilities that hinder attendance and/or public speaking.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable


Course Aims

The course aims to introduce the theories of depoliticisation and post-politics which constitute key conceptualisations of the complex nature of contemporary politics and neoliberal governance. Students will be able to locate the post-political condition within broader trajectories of social, political and economic change. It will enable students to engage with post-foundational thinkers who offer an alternative approach to conceptualising politics. A thorough understanding of the nature of contemporary protest will be enabled by linking the theoretical stance to specific case studies.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Identify, compare and evaluate different theories of depoliticisation and the post-political condition and its relationship to neoliberalism

■ Apply theories of depoliticisation and the post-political to explore the nature of contemporary protest and to assess specific case study examples

■ Appraise political movements that seek to change politics within existing institutions and those which seek its more thorough transformation

■ Locate and contextualise depoliticisation, the post-political and contemporary protest within broader historical and geographical shifts in global politics

■ Develop arguments to outline the possibilities and challenges facing those seeking political change

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.