ASOK15222U Authoritarian Regimes and Contentious Politics
MA Theory and Methodology (MSc Curriculum 2015)
Knowledge, organisation and politics
BA-Undergraduates from foreign countries (exchange students) can sign up for this course
The course explores the relationship between authoritarianism and contentious politics. Authoritarian regimes remain ubiquitous in our modern global world. This class asks why some authoritarian regimes are so successful at preserving stability and avoiding a transition into democracy, often despite a rise in contentious politics. Theoretically, we should not see a lot of protest or contentious politics under authoritarianism for several reasons, including a lack of recognition of basic rights, a lack of institutional mechanisms used to seek redress, the minimization or elimination of civil society, the exclusion of workers and citizens from formal politics, and the threat of serious repression for participating in contentious politics. The seminar explores why and how this challenges our understanding of the dynamics between authoritarianism and contentious politics.
The course reviews contemporary understandings of authoritarian regimes, different variants and explores associated mechanisms of repression and control. It also reviews what constitutes "contentious politics" and how the concept is operationalized in the context of authoritarian regimes. Here we look at how the dominant theoretical frameworks of contentious politics including grievance-centered analysis, resource mobilization theory and political process theory, have been used or modified to shed light on dynamics of contentious politics under authoritarianism and regime change. The second section of the course uses China as a case study to engage existing theories and debates in the literature. In China, a stable authoritarian regime has persisted in spite of increasing contentious politics, creating a puzzles theorists. The class purviews the landscape of contentious politics in China, looking at both the structure and form. It also examines regime responses and resilience, raises questions about the relationship between contentious politics and regime change.
provide an understanding of the form and nature of authoritarian regimes and related mechanisms of control and repression.
define contentious politics and describe the different forms that it takes in the context of authoritarian regimes.
describe how authoritarian legacies shape politics after regime change.
Identify and discuss and compare different types of authoritarianism.
Use theoretical explanations of authoritarian resilience and regime change to understand variance of regime outcomes across place and time.
use theories to explain the dynamics operating between contentious politics and authoritarianism.
enter current debates in the field about the dynamics between authoritarianism and contentious politics that.
explain specific authoritarian regime outcomes using specialized theoretical knowledge
categorize different types of authoritarian regimes and types of contentious actions.
theorize changes in form and substance of contentious action occurring under contemporary regimes.
Linz, Juan J. Totalitarian and authoritarian regimes. Addison-Wesley, 1985.
Tarrow, Sidney G. Power in movement: Social movements and contentious politics. Cambridge University Press, 2011.
Caraway, Teri L., Maria Lorena Cook, and Stephen Crowley, eds. Working Through the Past: Labor and Authoritarian Legacies in Comparative Perspective. Cornell University Press, 2015.
Lynch, Marc. "After Egypt: The limits and promise of online challenges to the authoritarian Arab state." Perspectives on politics 9.02 (2011): 301-310.
Slater, Dan. Ordering power: Contentious politics and authoritarian leviathans in Southeast Asia. Cambridge University Press, 2010.
O’donnell, G., Schmitter, P. C., Whitehead, L., Arnson, C. J., & Lowenthal, A. F. (2013). Transitions from authoritarian rule: Tentative conclusions about uncertain democracies. JHU Press.
Chen, Xi. Social protest and contentious authoritarianism in China. Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Classroom discussion will be structured so that students are not only engaging the instructor but also other students. They will work to answer questions put forth by both the instructor and their peers and use the theories and ideas presented in class to debate among each other.
Registration deadline for courses is June 1 for Autumn semester
and December 1 for Spring semester. Registration deadline for
Summer school is June 1.
When registered you will be signed up for exam.
International exchange students must sign up by filling in an application form: course registration.
Credit students: klik her
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
- Written assignmentIndividual/group. Free written take-home essays are assignments for which students define and formulate a problem within the parameters of the course and based on an individual exam syllabus. The free written take-home essay must be no longer than 10 pages. For group assignments, an extra 5 pages is added per additional student. Further details for this exam form can be found in the Curriculum and in the General Guide to Examinations at KUnet.
- Exam registration requirements
Sociology students must be enrolled under MSc Curriculum 2015 to take this exam.
Credit students must be at master level.
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
- Exam period
Submission dates and time will be available at KUnet, www.kunet.dk. Exchange students and danish full degree guest students please see the homepage of Sociology; http://www.soc.ku.dk/english/education/exams/ and http://www.soc.ku.dk/uddannelser/meritstuderende/eksamen/
At re-exam, the form of examination is the same as ordinary exam.
If the form of examination is ”active participation” the re-examination form is always “free written take-home essay”.
Criteria for exam assesment
Please see the learning outcome.
- Exam Preparation