Lecture Notes

Part I: Concepts and context
1 Introduction to the course  
2 Setting the context: Globalization and development What is at stake in discussing participation and urban governance in the Global South? What are some of the benefits thought to be associated with participation? What are some of the different positions on it? What is the conceptual vocabulary different authors employ? Why is participation apparent now?
3 Setting the context (2): Globalization and cities What are the current changes and how do they affect cities in the Global South in particular? What are some of the dilemmas posed by globalization? Are there opportunities presented by it?
4 Setting the context (3): Decentralization What is decentralization and what are its dimensions? When has this emerged in the developing world and why? Why do multilateral agencies promote decentralization? What benefits is it thought to provide? What are different positions on decentralization?
Part II: Normative visions
5 Normative approaches (1): Civil society One of the central concepts evoked in any discussion of participation or community is that of “civil society.” Here we do not necessarily revisit its long genesis, but rather consider its different uses in the context of participation. What is civil society for different authors? Why is it so central to the discussion on participation?
6 Normative approaches (2): Social capital One of the most used, and most controversial, concepts in policy and social science discussions on participation and development is that of “social capital.” What is social capital? How is it different than “civil society”? What is gained by using it? What, according to its critics, is lost?
7 Normative approaches (3): Deliberation and the public sphere A final normative perspective on participation and community comes from democratic theory, and concerns the quality of public participation. We briefly consider a few different takes on deliberation and the public sphere: Habermassian and post-Habermassian positions; deliberative democracy; and agonistic (or radical) democracy. How do each of these visions gain us some purchase on questions of participation and community?
Part III: Cases and debates
8 Case studies and debates (1): Empowered participatory governance EPG as Institutional Design: Can it Work?
9 Case studies and debates (2): Non-governmental organizations Invariably, any practitioner on questions of participation and community will eventually have dealings with NGOs of one kind or another. Often, it is NGOs who promote and make possible participation. But NGOs themselves are not often objects of critical inquiry. What do we gain by critically interrogating the role of NGOs?
10 Case studies and debates (3): Political concatenates Here we consider a number of cases of successful participation where analysts foreground the question of political context. What are propitious conditions, according to the authors?
11 Latin American cases  
12 South Asian cases  
13 African cases