Fall 2013 - 63645 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy
NGO's in Developing Worlds
In recent decades Non-Governmental and Non-Profit organizations (NGOs or NPOs) have proliferated in all nations of the world. This new organizational form reflects local and international initiatives related to human rights, the environment, sustainable development, health, education and much more. Several attempts have been made to categorize and understand the function of these new and varied organizational forms that exist in the contested and ill-defined economic, political, and social area that lies between the Market and the State and that is often referred to as Civil Society.
Since the 1980s international competition, low economic growth rates, and elevated citizen expectations have placed serious strains on the State’s ability to provide retirement, health, educational, and other social services to populations, and especially to the poor and indigenous groups. At the same time migration, growing female labor force participation, and changing family forms have reduced the local community’s ability to cope with the needs of its members. In this new and rapidly changing environment NGOs have become increasingly important organizations though which States sponsor basic social objectives.
The course consists of readings with group discussion and presentations related to specific areas of NGO activity. The readings will be listed on Blackboard. Given the typically large size of the class we will break up into groups, each of which will assume responsibility for leading the discussion related to a specific topic. The group will begin with the recommended readings and drop and add readings as they decide. The course grade will be based on a final paper of approximately 25 pages that deals with a topic of the student’s choice. Required and recommended readings are listed on blackboard and the list is a still a work in progress. Individual participants will read literature relevant to their own research topic. The three books that we will all read as a beginning to our discussions and that should be available at the co-op include:
- Bebbington, Anthony J, Samuel Hickey, Diana C. Miltin. 2008. Can NGOs Make a Difference? The Challenge of Development alternatives. London and New York: Zed Books
- Keck, Margaret and Kathryn Sikkink. 1998. Activists Beyond Borders. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press.
- Mendelson, Sarah and John Glenn (eds). 2002. The Power and Limits of NGOs. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
This course is cross-listed with SOC 396.15L, LAS 381, and SW 395K. Sociology is the home department.