GOV 384L • Latin American Urban Politics
3:30 PM-6:30 PM
This course is designed to offer a first glimpse into a huge area with a correspondingly huge literature - Latin American cities and their politics. The term "politics" is interpreted very broadly so as to include students whose major interests may be sociology, anthropology, history, economics, public affairs, or any other social sciences and humanities. The focus of the course is politics, but almost anything else is grist for the mill. The course is designed as a research seminar, and as such concentrates in its readings and class discussions not only on the substantive materials dealing with Latin American cities but also with the question of how this topic can be investigated. All seminar members will be expected to make an effort to develop a research question that has some theoretical importance as well as empirical interest. To do this, we will take considerable time to go through some of the basics in social science research. Weekly topics include early urban theory as developed in the US and then transported to Latin America; macro urban theory and urban structure; rural-urban migration and its repercussions (the informal urban sector, squatter settlements); urban social movements; urban electoral politics; and the move since the 1980's toward municipal autonomy and decentralization.
Two short analytic essays over a week's readings: roughly 25% A major (18-20 pp.) research paper, including the preparation of a proposal: roughly 50% Class participation, including in-class presentation: roughly 25%
Tentative List: Roberts, The Making of Citizens (duplicated because it's out of print) Gilbert, The Mega-City in Latin America Dietz and Shidlo, Urban Elections in Democratic Latin America "Chronicles of a Myth Foretold", Annals Volume 606 Packet of duplicated readings from Abel's Packets (715 D West 23rd Street)