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WiSe 22/23: Radical politics and (non)violent resistance, Teil 1&2

The scale, pace and intensity of global crises – from climate change, to late capitalism, to the breakdown of the multipolar world order – demand radical departures from conventional modes of doing politics. Hence it is no surprise that these multiple crises have become the fuel for radical politics and popular resistance. Across the globe, radical collectives, revolutionary movements and innovative forms of activism have emerged that attempt to challenge and change the status quo through (non)violent resistance. These mobilization processes, epitomized in the resurgence of traditional civil disobedience tactics and the emergence of a new transnational repertoire of protest, have given rise to a range of empirical, ontological and epistemological questions related to the conceptualization of “violence” and “the radical.” Who defines what radical politics actually is and entails, and how? Does radicalization necessarily involve a resort to violence or more confrontational means of doing politics? And if so, is it always wrong, or sometimes even a morally grounded imperative? Who determines what violent protest is? And what types of violence can be considered (in)effective or (il)legitimate? This course aims to critically address these questions and to explore their epistemic effects on the ways we conceive of radical politics as well as their material impact on the character of contemporary protest and contentious politics. By exploring key debates on the definition, delimitation, ethical foundations, measurement and social and political consequences of violence it introduces students to key tenets in the study of (non)violent resistance and radical politics. Furthermore, it aims to familiarize students with empirical methods to study violence dynamics and the radicalization of social struggles. For this, the course draws on insights from social movement theory, post-foundational discourse theory, civil war studies as well as relational and interactionist micro-sociological approaches. The course is most appropriate for those with a special interest in conflict studies and social movement research but also for students who are interested in broader epistemological questions relating to conceptualization of violence and radical politics. It combines text work and presentations with more participatory formats and requires a general willingness to complete reading requirements, to actively participate in discussions and group work, and to contribute to a productive and nondiscriminatory seminar atmosphere. Each seminar session involves, at least, two required readings (one text details on a specific methodology or theoretical approach; another illustrates how these approaches can be used empirically). All participants are expected to submit two response papers with their own reflections on these readings over course of the semester. In addition, participants are expected to develop and present a research design for their own empirical research project over the course of the semester.

(15531 & 15531a)

Dozent/inDr. Jannis Grimm
SemesterWise 2022/23

Wise 2022/23