Local Governance in Comparative Perspective (POL4239.01)

Rotimi Suberu

Around the world, there is renewed interest in empowering institutions of local governance (county, city, town/township, municipal, village, or special-purpose local government, and non-governmental local associations) in order to promote political democracy, enhance socio-economic welfare, and accommodate subnational identities, among other goals. This course will examine the design and implementation of local governance from a global, comparative perspective. Themes to be explored will include: methodological challenges in the comparative analysis of local government systems; normative and empirical theories of local governance and political decentralization; principal options and choices for structuring, organizing or designing local government institutions, especially their constitutional or legal foundations, territorial boundaries, elections, powers, finance, functions, management, and intergovernmental relations; the local government-civil society nexus and the influence of new forms of social communication and mobilization; reviews of broad national systems of local government in selected developed and developing countries, including the United States, India and South Africa; and case studies of local government practices in specific local jurisdictions.

Prerequisites: Previous work in SCT or CAPA. Please email instructor by Wednesday, November 28th at RSuberu@bennington.edu or sign up during office hours on Friday (11/30), 10am-2pm.
Credits: 4
W 8:00am - 11:40am
Maximum Enrollment: 16
Course Frequency:
This course is categorized as 4000, All courses, Areas of Study, Four Credit, Politics, Rotimi Suberu, Society Culture and Thought, Wednesday Mornings.