WOODROW WILSON SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
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Movements, Democracy and Justice
Tuesday 7-10 p.m. Room 13 Robertson Hall
Professor: Smitu Kothari
Office: 201 Bendheim Hall
Office Hours: Wednesday 1-3 p.m. or by appointment
The social movements of the last
four decades have been challenging both the established structures of power and
the dominant visions of society. They are also changing the very nature of civil
society and its traditional relationship with the state and altering social and
cultural relations in the everyday life of millions of people. Those
movements are emerging in a time of resurgence of cultural and ethnic assertion;
some of it antagonistic to well established social values and arrangements.
This course has the following objectives:
1. To provide theoretical and
historical background and some analytical tools to better grasp the nature and
scope of the current social movements in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the
2. To offer an overview of the struggles of peasants, indigenous peoples, women
and defenders of ecological spaces, which are reclaiming their commons and
demanding greater local autonomy, environmental and gender justice and more
accountability from state and other national and global economic actors, while
challenging conventionally held beliefs on democracy, ecology and justice.
3. To examine the growing linkages between and among local, national and global
movements and international advocacy organizations.
In this interdisciplinary course, we will examine through numerous examples, how
people attempt to change society. What are the forces that shape the destiny of
societies and those who wish to transform them? What strategies and
tactics do they adopt? How do these vary at the local, national, regional
and global levels? How do those in power respond? What are the
cultural and historical roots of contemporary movements? Why are we
witnessing an efflorescence of stirring and agitation at the grassroots?
Were the events in Seattle, Prague and Washington an aberration or do they
represent evolving social movements that are both locally grounded and globally
connected? What are the multiple levels at which movement's work? How do
they influence policy? How does legislative action get framed and
implemented? These are some of the questions that the course will address.
This course will be in the form of an active, participatory seminar. Its
success will be driven by how each one of you engage with the issues that the
readings and debates generate. We will also evolve a format where the themes of
the final papers will be debated in class giving others an opportunity to learn
form the choices each of you have made and the issues you will address.
Each week, two students will be
responsible for writing a brief commentary on the readings of the week. Please
note that what is expected is a commentary and not a summary of the readings.
All others will be required to carefully read the weekly assignments, and,
contribute actively to the discussions in class. There will be a final
paper based on the study of a social movement of your choice. This choice
must be made soon after the mid-term break.
Grading will be based on brief
reviews of the readings and written assignments: Brief
reviews: 30%; Participation: 30%; Final paper: 40%
February 6: INTRODUCTION - I
Marco Giugni, Doug McAdam and
Charles Tilly. 1999. How Social Movements Matter. Minneapolis: University of
Minnesota Press. Introduction.
Smitu Kothari. 1996. "Rising From the Margins: The Awakening of Civil Society in
the Third World". Development. Rome: Society for International Development.
Pramod Parajuli. 1988. "Power and Knowledge in Development Discourse: New Social
Movements and The State in India". International Social Science Journal, 127:
February 13: INTRODUCTION - II
Arturo Escobar and Sonia Alvarez
(Eds.). 1992. The Making of Social Movements
in Latin America: Identity, Strategy, and Democracy. Boulder: Westview Press.
Paul Ekins. 1992. A New World Order - Grassroots Movements for Global
Change. London: Routledge, Ch. 1.
Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward. 1971. Poor People's Movements: Why
They Succeed, How They Fail. Ch 1: 1-40.
Smitu Kothari. "Social Movements and the Redefinition of Democracy", in Philip
Oldenburg (Ed.), India Briefing. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1995.
Alberto Melucci. 1992. "Collective Action: A Constructivist View," Nomads of
The Present, 1992: 17-37.
Sidney Tarrow. 1994. Power in Movement: Social Movements, Collective Action,
and Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Ch. 1: 9-27.
.Steven Buechler and Kurt Cylke. 1997. Social Movements: Perspectives and
February 20: NATIONALISM, DIASPORAS
Benedict Anderson. 1992. "Long
Distance Nationalism: World Capitalism and
The Rise of Identity Politics," Unpublished Paper, Centre For Asian Studies,
Satyendra, 2000. "What is a
Kearney, M. 1995. "The Local and the Global: The Anthropology of Globalization
and Transnationalism". Annual Review of Anthropology, No. 24, 547-565
February 27: GLOBALIZATION
Veronika Bennholdt-Thomsen and
Maria Mies. 1999. The Subsistence
Perspective: Beyond the Globalised Economy. London: Zed Books.
Philip G. Cerny. 1995. "Globalization and the Changing Logic of Collective
Action," International Organization, Vol. 49, no. 4.
Sidney Tarrow. 1995. "Fishnets, Internets and Catnets: Globalization and
Transnational Collective Action," Mimeo.
Donatella dell Porta, Hans Peter Kriesi and Dieter Rucht (Eds.). 1999. Social
Movements in a Globalizing World. New York: St. Martin's Press.
Charles Tilly. "Globalization Threatens Labor's Rights," CSSC Working Paper
March 6: WOMEN'S MOVEMENTS
Leslie Wolfe and Jennifer Tucker.
1995. "Feminism Lives: Building a
Multicultural Women's Movement in the United States," in Amrita Basu. (Ed.).
The Challenge of Local Feminisms: Women's Movements in Global Perspective,
J. Townsend. 1995. Women's Voices From The Rainforest. London: Routledge.
Vina Mazumdar and Indu Agnihotri, 1995. "Changing The Terms of Political
Discourse," Lokayan Bulletin, July-October: 5-32.
Gail Omvedt. 1994. "Peasants, Dalits, and Women: Democracy and India's New
Social Movements". Journal of Contemporary Asia, 24, No. 1: 35-48.
March 13: THE ECOLOGICAL IMPERATIVE: LIVELIHOODS AND
Giovanna Di Chiro. 1998. "Environmental Justice from the Grassroots:
Reflections on History, Gender, and Expertise", in Daniel Faber, The Struggle
Ecological Democracy : Environmental Justice Movements in the United States,
Paul Wapner. 1995. "Politics Beyond The State: Environmental Activism and
World Civic Politics, " World Politics, April. 311-40.
John Kurien. 1992. "Ruining The Commons and Responses of The Consumers:
Coastal Overfishing and Fishworkers Actions in Kerala, India," In Dharam Ghai
and Jessica Vivian, Grassroots Environmental Action. People's Participation in
Sustainable Development, 221-258.
Smitu Kothari. 2000. "A Million Mutinies Now: Lesser-Known Environmental
Movements in India," Humanscape, October. 5-9.
The Ecologist. 1992. Whose Common Future? Reclaiming The Commons.
Martin Khor. 1995. "A Worldwide Fight Against Biopiracy and Patents on Life,"
Third World Resurgence. No. 63, 9-11.
March 27: FORESTS, LIVELIHOODS AND CULTURES
Ashish Kothari, Saloni Suri, Neena
Singh, "Conservation in India: A New
Direction," Economic and Political Weekly, October 28, 1995: 2755-2766.
Nancy Peluso. 1995. Rich Forests, Poor People, Ch. 2.
Pete Brown. 1998. "Cultural Resistance and Rebellion in Southern Mexico",
Review Essay of Six Books on The Zapatista Movement. Latin American
Research Review, 33-3: 217-229.
Susanna Hecht and Alexander Cockburn. 1989. "The Ecology of Justice," in The
Fate of the Forest. Verso. 193-210.
Denise Stanley. 1991. "Demystifying the Tragedy of The Commons: The Resin
Tappers of Honduras," Grassroots Development, 27-35.
Prepare for Final Paper Topics
April 3: INDIGENOUS AND TRIBAL PEOPLES
Al Gedicks. 1993. "Resource
Colonialism and International Native Resistance," In
Gedicks, Ed., The New Resource Wars: Native and Environmental Struggles
Against Multinational Corporations, 13-38.
M. Carley. 1998. "Defining Forms of Successful State Repression of Social
Movement Organizations: A Case Study of the FBI's COINTELPRO and the
American Indian Movement," in Michael Dobkowski and Isidor Wallimann. The
Coming Age of Scarcity: Preventing Mass Death and Genocide in the Twenty-first
Century, Syracuse UP, 151-171.
Amazon Indigenous Peoples: New Challenges for Political Participation and
Sustainable Development, " Cultural Survival Quarterly, 20(3), Fall 1996, 50-53.
F. Passy. 1999. "Supranational Political Opportunities as a Channel of
Globalization of Political Conflicts: The Case of the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples", in Donatella della Porta, Hanspeter Kriesi and Dieter Rucht, Social
Movements in a Globalizing World, New York: St. Martin's Press, 148-169.
April 10: DAMS, DEVELOPMENT AND JUSTICE
Arundhati Roy, 1999. The Greater
Common Good, Frontline, May 22-June 4.
Medha Patkar. (In Conversation with Smitu Kothari). 1995. "The Struggle for
Participation and Justice," In William Fisher (Ed.). Towards Sustainable
Development. Struggling Over India's Narmada River. 157-178.
Bradford Morse and Thomas Berger. 1995. "Findings and Recommendations of
The Independent Review," In Fisher, 371-380.
Lori Udall. 1995. "The International Narmada Campaign: A Case of Sustained
Advocacy," in William Fisher, 21027.
April 17: THE URBAN SPACE
E. Canel. 1992. "Democratization and the Decline of Urban Social Movements
Uraguay: A Political-Institutional Account," in Arturo Escobar and Sonia
The Making of Social Movements in Latin America: Identity, Strategy and
Democracy. Westview Press. 276-290
Talmage Wright. 1997. Out of Place. Homeless Mobilizations, Subcities, and
Contested Landscapes. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Frans Schuurman & Ton van Naerssen. 1989. Urban Social Movements in the
Third World. Introduction and Ch. 1: "Urban Social Movements: Between
Regressive Utopia and Socialist Panacea". Routledge. 1-26.
M. Vellinga. 1989. "Power and Independence: the Struggle for Identity in Urban
Social Movements," in Schuurman & Naerssen. ch. 8.
Julio Moguel and Enrique Velazquez. 1992. "Urban Social Organizing and
Ecological Struggles in Durango, Mexico," in Ghai and Vivian. 161-188.
April 24: CHALLENGES FOR GOVERNANCE: DOMINANT INSTITUTIONS
Jonathan Fox and L. David Brown. 1998. The Struggle for Accountability: The
World Bank, NGOs, and Grassroots Movements. Cambridge: MIT Press.
The World Commission on Dams. Selected materials.
Class Presentations I
MAY 1: CHALLENGES FOR GOVERNANCE: GRASSROOTS INSTITUTIONS
Jorge G. Castaneda. 1993. "Democratising Democracy," in Utopia Unarmed: The
Latin American Left After the Cold War, 390.
Smitu Kothari, 2000. "To be Governed or to Self-Govern," The Hindu Folio,
Margaret Keck and Kathryn Sikkink. 1998. "Transnational Advocacy Networks in
International Politics". Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1-38.
Class Presentations II