2018-2019 Academic Catalog 
    Sep 15, 2019  
2018-2019 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

IDCE 304 - International and Comparative Analysis of Community Development

Comparative Community Development Community development can be conceived in multiple ways, some quite abstract and spiritual, and others truly material, strongly defined by the immediate realities and physical needs of human beings in different cultural, societal, and natural settings. Actually, it seems necessary to combine multiple ways of thinking about communities to address their needs. Current debates about post-modernity and the effects of globalization hypothesize we are set on the path to communal homogeneity-asserting the gradual death of the local. Conversely, other observers of (capitalist) globalization argue that anywhere we look we see a local struggle for identity preservation, resistance and differentiation. Another set of observers see a variety of forms of interconnectedness between the local and the global brought about by speeding time-space compression (Harvey) or by declining time-space distanciation (Giddens).These debates evidence a tug of war between the global hegemonic forces of consumer logos, which stamp our identities, attires, music, and the food we eat (Klein), and local actors which emphasize social justice, equity while defending their communities and identity. Whereas understanding these debates is critical to develop our strategic orientation as planners, they are often very distant from the analytical and applied concerns of practicing community development. In this course we will cover some of those debates about the tensions between the global and the local. However, we will grapple with community development in four more specific ways. First, we will approach community development as a complex craft in which professionals, citizens, states and various kinds of institutions engage with each other in order to shape the social life of groups and their surrounding environment. Sometimes the situations of engagement are virtuous, collaborative and driven by principles of sustainability. Conversely, they can be fraught by profound asymmetries of power. Secondly, we will address some of the historical forces that have shaped (urban) community development in the post-World War II era in the USA, and in other parts of Latin America (Chile, Bolivia, Brazil), India and Africa: state retrenchment, structural adjustments, urban renewal, neoliberal reforms, privatization, decentralization/ devolution, financial crisis. Thirdly, we will discuss important dilemmas of collective action, resource allocation, and socio-economic inclusion, which result from asymmetries of power, information, expertise, wealth, and environmental health. Finally, we will devote significant attention to the tools and strategies of community development in various regions of the planet: asset-building, community/associative networks, participatory governance, social enterprises, social capital development, community development corporations, non-profits.

Anticipated Terms Offered: various