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Resistance and rebellion


Admission requirements

Admission to BA Korea/Japan/China Studies and BA International Studies students with a maximum of 20 students. Others may be granted permission with the express written consent of the instructor.


Why do some rebellions fail while others succeed? Why do some revolutions or protest movements usher in great change while others fail to gain meaningful traction? Why do some groups rebel while others seemingly endure their oppression? What is the role of violence in resistance and in regimes of control? What differentiates modes of state to state conflict from state violence against individuals or non-state actors? Such questions inform this course’s exploration of violence, conflict, and resistance from the perspective of ‘Korea in the region.’ Students will explore case-studies of conflict, theories of violence and revolution, and engage in comparative, transnational analysis.

Course objectives

  • Deepen students’ understanding of Korean history

  • Further develop critical thinking and analytical skills through research-focused methods

  • Practice multi-scalar, complex empirical and theoretical analysis

  • Deepen written communication skills and familiarity with strategies of argumentation

  • Introduction to the fundamentals of thesis and research production


The timetable is available on the Koreastudies> website

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total workload: 140 hours

  • Contact hours (2 hours per week x 13 weeks): 26 hours

  • Time for the study of the compulsory literature (3 hours pw x 13 weeks): 39 hours

  • Preparation of written assignments and presentations: 75 hours

Assessment method

Active Class Participation (50%)

Attendance & active participation in class discussions (10%)
Presentations (10%); Research Lab Assignments (10%); Short postings (10%); (Chicago Citation and Bibliograpy Take Home Quiz, graded Pass/Fail or 100%/0% only) (10%)

Paper Assignment (50%)

Paper proposal – 750 words (10%)
Final Research Paper – 3500-4000 words (40%)

Attendance policy: Missing more than three sessions means your papers may not be graded. Any absences must be notified in advance. Dispensation from the attendance rule is possible in consultation with the coordinator of studies and for valid reasons only.

Work is accepted ahead of time but no late assignments are accepted.

The instructor reserves the right to require student submission of any notes, first drafts, outlines or prepatory work for any assignment.

To pass the course students must receive an overall mark of 5.50 [=6] or higher and a passing grade for the paper assignment (5.5 or higher). Students who fail the course (receiving an overall mark of 5.49 [=5] or lower) must take a resit. Only one resit is possible and for this course, it consists of a paper offering a comparative critical analysis of two secondary sources/peer-reviewed works of research (length: 6,000 words (100% of the grade)). No supervision is provided in the case of a resit. Resits must be completed within 3 weeks from the instructor notifying the student. The course is an integrated whole. All categories must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.


This course uses Blackboard in addition to other modes of communication in order to disseminate critical information. For Dr. S. Park’s version of this course, the latest syllabus will be available on Blackboard; students are expected to check Blackboard frequently.

Reading list

Representative texts include but are not limited to the following:

  • Skocpol, Theda. States and Social Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979.

  • Tilly, Charles. The Politics of Collective Violence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

  • Shin, Gi-Wook, and Kyung Moon Hwang, eds. Contentious Kwangju: The May 18 Uprising in Korea’s Past and Present. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.

  • Kallander, George L. Salvation through Dissent Tonghak Heterodoxy and Early Modern Korea. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2013.

See the syllabus for course readings.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch


Dr. Saeyoung Park