Spring 2021  |  PA 5590 Section 001: Topics in Economic and Community Development -- Transforming Development (67505)

Class Component:
3 Credits
Repeat Credit Limit:
9 Credits
Grading Basis:
Student Option
Instructor Consent:
No Special Consent Required
Instruction Mode:
Completely Online
Class Attributes:
Topics Course
Enrollment Requirements:
Graduate Student
Times and Locations:
Regular Academic Session
01/19/2021 - 05/03/2021
Tue, Thu 11:15AM - 12:30PM
Off Campus
Enrollment Status:
Open (10 of 30 seats filled)
Also Offered:
Course Catalog Description:
Selected topics.
Class Notes:
Class will be offered REMOTELY. Class will meet synchronously-online during Spring 2021 during the scheduled time. http://classinfo.umn.edu/?gfs+PA5590+Spring2021
Class Description:

We have seldom seen global acts of solidarity and political will such as the one generated by the COVID19 pandemic. The expansion of social distancing policies has slowed consumption and has resulted in sharp reductions of CO2 emissions among other positive environmental benefits, which were until recently, impossible to achieve. The infusion of financial resources into medical systems and social safety nets is evidence of the availability of resources when there is political will. Yet, there is little recognition in international policy arenas that the ultimate drivers of the world's looming existential crises, including that of emerging infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, climate change, and the accelerated loss of species and habitats, lies in our dominant definition and the historical foundations of development. COVID19 has required an unprecedented shift in paradigms, forcing many to reconsider long-held historical ideologies and approaches to development. The pandemic has also laid bare the ethnic, racial, class, and gender inequalities in the ways societies across the globe lead lives, proving to be a "justice" thermometer of sorts: ethnic and racial minorities across the world are over represented among those who have been sick or have died from Covid: African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans in the United States and Amerindians in South America. Across the globe, women are juggling paid work, parenting responsibilities and caring for the elderly. Larger numbers of people in the informal sector in the global have food and housing insecurity. The list goes on.

These social and environmental challenges are global and local in scale and challenge us to consider poverty alleviation not as an "international" issue and only of concern for low resourced communities and countries, but one in need of attention in every country in the world. Two key ingredients to any economic system, the natural world and the caring labor that support social and physical reproduction, continue to be invisible in the dominant model of development. Similar factors that lead to social inequities lead to unsustainable development.

Various theoretical/policy frameworks across multiple disciplinary fields, provide paths on redefining development, and reframing our economy taking into account the natural world and care, the latter understood as the values, attitudes and practices that sustain all life. We will explore current scholarly and applied definitions of sustainable development and study how it differs (or not) from green growth. We will study different models loosely framed under what is currently known as the pluriverse, models intending to transform development: community economies, solidarity movement, degrowth, transition design. Gender, class/caste, ad ethnicity will be mainstreamed throughout the course.

For students who have taken PA5501, this course is a deep dive and expansion of the last week of class covering "the right side of the board."

Who Should Take This Class?:
Anyone interested in: international development, understanding the connections between high resources countries and poor resources countries, the environment , gender equity
Learning Objectives:

By the end of the course students should be able to:

· Understand the definition of sustainable development from a scholarly perspective

· To understand the scope of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the inherent contradictions among the various goals

· Understand current alternative proposals to economic development: green growth; degrowth;
community economies; and proposals under the pluriverse umbrella.

· Understand the policy formulations for sustainable development and how they differ from green growth and degrowth.

· Understand the importance of theory and measurement in policy formulation and implementation.

· Develop a verbal and conceptual vocabulary on transform development.

· Recognize and understand the importance of gender, ethnic and class/caste perspectives in the context of transforming development theory, policy, and implementation.

· Develop the analytical skills to sort context specific (one size does not fit all), gender specific (there is no such thing as gender neutral); and class/caste (the rising boat does not lift all equally) development challenges.

· Recognize that transforming development is anchored in ethics and based on justice for all beings and the systems that support life.

Class Format:
This class is seminar style.
Instructor Supplied Information Last Updated:
14 December 2020

ClassInfo Links - Spring 2021 Public Affairs Classes Taught by Greta Friedemann-Sanchez

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