The Transnational Institute (TNI) in association with the Brazilian research centre CIDADE and the Latin American Programme for Distance Education in Social Sciences (PLED) is offering a free web-based course on Participatory Democracy, Urban Management and Crisis Capitalism. The course will begin on 10th September, 2012 and will comprise a series of twelve weekly sessions.
Applications are invited from members of civil society organizations, social activists, government officials and university students. The course will be hosted by the PLED virtual campus. The course involves a programme of lectures, guided readings, online forum discussions and individual assignments.
Contents of the course:
The course is structured around 12 modules, with special emphasis on the sources of popular power and public policies in the areas of urban planning and management, housing, environment and civic security:
- Theoretical sources of participatory democracy. Description and critical analysis of the different visions of participatory democracy visible in contemporary political and academic debates and their relation to the proposals for ‘state reform’.
- Why the World Bank supports participatory budgeting? An interpretation of the ostensible change in World Bank guidelines for action since the late nineties up to date, from the participatory strategies for poverty reduction’ to the subsequent adoption of participatory budgeting as a tool for monitoring and controlling the contents and impacts of local and regional budgets
- From popular sovereignty to the exclusion of citizens’ participation. Discussion of an observed institutional shift in the last two decades, focusing on the outsourcing of public policy responsibilities to local communities and the private sector
- Public Space: a critique of the concepts of exclusion and segregation. An analytical reconstruction of the theoretical path of urban studies vis-à-vis the new processes of social and spatial segregation
- The collapse of urban planning in the big cities. A critical analysis of the dismantling of governmental urban planning and the predatory nature of life in large cities, with reference to the subordination of urban development to the interests of real estate capital.
- The management of the commons, participatory democracy and capitalism. Discussion of environmental alternatives centred on citizens’ participation, considering the conflict between multiple social subjects in the urban space and the precariousness of the institutional process
- Urban violence, social movements and citizens’ security. A critical analysis of the sense of insecurity and fear among citizens, based on recent theoretical developments contributed by progressive criminologists
- Crisis of capitalism and inflection of the neoliberal project. A discussion of the structural limits of the global growth strategy based on the expansion of financial capital, the current crises, and possible alternatives to U.S. hegemony
- Capital-led direct democracy. A critique of the reduction of institutional politics to the mere parliamentary ratification of projects driven by the interests of large private corporations, as exemplified in the planning of mega-sporting events (e.g. the Olympics and FIFA World Football Cup in Brazil)
- Social housing and mega-projects. An in-depth analysis of housing policies in the framework of the global capitalist crisis and the expansion of capital-led democracy in large metropolitan areas
- Progressive alternative to the ‘new urban governance’ approach. An appraisal of initiatives and experiences of workers and users engagement in managing and improving public services
- The emergence of a new paradigm in urban policy. Analysis of the new social, political and economic leading to the emergence and development of ‘integral social movements’ and their significance in political practice and public policy
Languages: The course will be implemented simultaneously in Spanish and English.
Deadline for application is 31st August, 2012
For further information, visit the link.