Course aims and learning objectives
Revolutions, as the processes of radical politico-social transformations, are interactively related to world politics both during, before and after the events of its making. In this sense, revolutions are a core aspect of the world politics, which have constituted, and have been constituted by, long term international processes. Due mainly to its bottom-up nature, revolutions rest upon ‘organized discontent’ the processes and results of which have its impact on the (re-)negotiation and redefinition of inter-state, state-society, and inter-societal relations. Yet revolutions, as a subject of study, has limitedly made its way into the curriculum of International Relations. This conditioned an overlook on the major contributions of revolutions in our understanding of the main themes of international relations such as war, peace, sovereignty, hegemony, intervention, global injustices and many more. In response to this lack of attention, this course will be focusing on the following question: to what extent and how can we account for the share of revolutions in the making of world order? The objectives of this course are twofold. Firstly, it shall develop an understanding of revolutions that can eventually benefit students to reflect on, and analyze, the ways and processes in which world politics and radical politico-social transformations interactively condition each other. Secondly, this class aims at developing an understanding of international relations that goes beyond state-centric and Eurocentric mainstream conceptions, in order to the make a historically and sociologically informed and truly global analysis of revolutions in world politics.
To achieve these goals, the course will be divided in four main parts. The first part deals with the conceptual clarifications and key debates by focusing on various approaches to social movements, revolution and world politics. The second part focuses on the formative role of revolutions in the constitution of world politics. The third part draws on modern revolutionary transformations and the ways in which they are related to world politics, in concrete examples. Fourth and last part concentrates on contemporary radical political thought in conjunction with international relations theories.