Understanding Divided Societies
Period of duration of course
Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Political Science and Sociology"
Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Transnational Governance"
Optional for the 4th and 5th year students of the MA Programme in "Political and Social Sciences"
This course aims to provide students with a critical understanding of divided societies. It reviews the key debates of the literature on deeply divided societies, it explores their contested geographies, and the implication and challenges of institutional arrangements implemented to govern them. The students will get to know the main dilemmas concerning the representation of minorities, non-dominant communities, and non-aligned citizens in power-sharing systems. Furthermore, the course will explore in-depth the political parties and social movements emerging in divided settings, investigating the different ways they navigate societal cleavages. In that regard, students will debate recent scholarly works addressing various aspects of collective action in divided societies, from the formation of collective identities and the use of violence to the emergence of right to the city movements, environmental, gender and LGBTQ+ movements. Finally, the course will revise the different theoretical approaches employed to study divided societies (such as the settler/colonial paradigm) and the methodological challenges that researching divided societies entails
By the end of the course students will have acquired a clear understanding of the main debates in the literature on deeply divided societies and demonstrate a critical understanding of historical and contemporary debates on divided settings, including their contested geographies, the implication and challenges of institutional arrangements in place to govern them, and the dilemmas concerning the representation of minorities. They will have gained insights into key concepts employed in the study of divided societies and will be able to critically approach the scholarship on the topic. Finally, they will be able to identify and apply in an appropriate way the conceptual tools and theoretical approaches learnt throughout the course, and to adopt them in their empirical research.