University of Sussex Business School

Global Resistance (L7090S)

Global Resistance: Subjects and Practices

Module L7090S

Module details for 2019/20.

30 credits

FHEQ Level 6

Module Outline

Since the 1999 "Battle of Seattle", when protesters from around the world descended on the World Trade Organisation's Ministerial Conference, activists and scholars alike have made much of a "global" movement of opposition to neoliberalism, capitalism and/or imperialism. This module will introduce students to key events in the recent trajectory of resistance to global order-building, and locate contemporary "global resistance" in historical context. We will explore the main concepts and theories used to make sense of resistance - by scholars but also by those engaging in struggles themselves (including Marxist, post-structuralist, decolonial and feminist approaches). We will also consider the different political subjects that have been hailed as the locus of emancipatory or revolutionary struggle (e.g. the "anti-globalization movement", the "global working class" or the "multitude"). Rather than assuming that resistance is straightforwardly emancipatory, the module will interrogate the variegated politics of resistance, the ways in which anti-systemic struggles may become entangled in relations of power and the various modes of intervention geared toward repressing, managing or disciplining dissent. The module will also consider these issues in relation to thematic debates cross-cutting various manifestations of "global resistance": the concept of solidarity and the racialised and gendered politics of resistance. These issues will be explored through discussion of specific instances of dissent to world ordering, from the global summmit protests of the early 21st century and the emergence of the influential Zapatista movement in Mexico, to international trade unionism; peasant and indigenous struggles over land; and the more recent phenomena of Occupy Wall Street and anti-austerity protests in Europe.

Module learning outcomes

Develop a systematic and critical understanding of the key conceptual debates around the theory and practice of resistance in world politics.

Develop a detailed conceptual understanding of "global resistance" as it relates to broader debates concerning power, world order and processes of political subjectivisation.

Effectively synthesise and communicate the theoretical and empirical uncertainties, ambiguities and limits in the politics of resistance as it relates to specific case studies of political dissent.

Coursework components. Weighted as shown below.
EssayT2 Week 7 100.00%
Essay (3500 words)Semester 2 Assessment Week 1 Thu 16:0070.00%

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.


Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Spring SemesterSeminar3 hours11111111111

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Dr Earl Gammon

Assess convenor

Dr Lara Montesinos Coleman


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