This interdisciplinary course introduces students to theories and current issues in social development. It starts by considering the historical, political, and social contexts in which social development thoughts have increasingly become influential in both development theories and policies, as an alternative to the past development paradigm that centered on economic development. It then examines various theories concerning welfare and social policy and their relevance to contemporary developing countries. The course focuses on topics such as education and literacy, health and nutrition, employment, housing and settlement, social services delivery, civil society and community participation, and poverty reduction. It explores effective approaches to provide social protection, assist social integration, and promote social justice, by drawing on concrete country cases from both developed and developing countries.
The course outline is as follows:
Session 1: Introduction
Session 2: The evolution of social development thoughts in the development discourse: a historical overview
Session 3: Social development, human development, and post-MDGs: multi-dimensional domains
Sessions 4: The State, civil society, and social development: Understanding state-society relations
Session 5: From welware provision to self-governance: collective action, grassroots participation, and empowerment
Session 6: Decentralization and the role of local governments in social development
Session 7: Social capital, social networks, and associations
Session 8: Poverty, education, and social development
Session 9: Social exclusion, equity, and social safety nets
Session 10: The urban poor and urban basic services
Sessions 11 & 12: Group presentation
Session 13: From policy to action for social development
Session 14: Wrap up
To complete the course, students must actively participate in classroom discussions, participate in a group exercise, and pass the final exam. Grades are based on class participation (10%), group presentation and paper (30%), and a term paper (60%).