Citizens, States and Power in Regional Development
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Level: Undergraduate, Graduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy
Department: Milano General Curriculum
Course Number: NINT 5395
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
This course treats “development” as an arena of conflict between policies and the agencies in charge of them, and the localities and peoples which are their objects. The concept of “region” provides a useful lens to examine the mobilization of knowledge and power in the interface between states and citizens. Regions are not natural, but constituted socially and politically. Thus our approach to citizens, states and development asks: How are things organized? Where? Who makes decisions? In what ways does value circulate and/or accumulate? Particular emphasis is placed on the rural component of regions. “Rural” frequently is reduced to meaning agricultural production and extraction of natural resources. However rural spaces are heterogeneous social complexes within which most of human history has taken place. We begin by focusing on key concepts in regional development, with particular emphasis on the Americas. We move into regional case studies (Appalachia and the Pacific Northwest in North America, Colombia’s coffee country, and the Amazon in South America) where we first examine top-down planning with an emphasis on how people in the regions are characterized. Then we examine how people in these places look at themselves and mobilize to achieve their own goals. These cases allow us to explore the intersections of geography, culture, policy and political economy in the construction of lives and livelihoods. We end by examining hemispheric integration and the lives of transnational citizens, in particular those of Mexican migrants to the United States.
Open to Graduate students.