Spring 2015

Semester Start Date: 
Friday, January 2, 2015

Technology, Innovation, and International Development

This seminar explores the role of science, technology, and innovation in international development. It is inspired by the seminal work of Joseph Schumpeter, The Theory of Economic Development, published in 1912. Drawing from contemporary economic developments, it aims to achieve four main objectives. First, it examines the co-evolutionary dynamics of technological change and economic complexity. Second, it reviews the relevance of complexity analysis in understanding the geography of innovation with specific emphasis on industrial clusters.

Institutions of Modern Capitalism and Market Society

Do markets constitute a morally fair and economically efficient means of societal organization? Why have market institutions and logics become so pervasive in modern society? This course focuses on the origins and evolution of the institutions of modern capitalism by analyzing the politics of markets and the rise of ‘market society.’ It interrogates the processes through which markets have become a legitimate institution of economic exchange that is increasingly pervasive across broad areas of social life.

Advanced Workshop in Landscape+Urbanism

This workshop experiments with emerging trends in the fields of landscape architecture and urbanism as they relate to MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism’s (CAU) biannual special topic: “The Future of Suburbia.” Modern suburban development has endured in our cultural imagination for almost a century. Despite mounting environmental, social, and political pressure for its reform, the suburban model remains the most ubiquitous form of development in the metropolitan region.

Analyzing Public Policy and Organizations

A critical aspect of public policy design and implementation is to performance evaluation.

Resilient Urban Communities

Focuses on community resilience, including disaster resilience, and climate change adaptation. Topics include concepts of resilience and adaptation, characterization of community assets, vulnerability of critical infrastructure services and community operations, potential systems interventions for community resilience, national, regional  and local policies on resilience and adaptation, and current community planning for resilience and adaptation. 

American Urban History I

Seminar on the history of institutions and institutional change in American cities from roughly 1850 to the present. Among the institutions to be looked at are political machines, police departments, courts, schools, prisons, public authorities, and universities. Focuses on readings and discussions.

The City in Film

Over the past 150 years, the world has moved from one characterized by rural settlement patterns and provincial lifestyles to one dominated by urbanization, industrialization, immigration, and globalization. Interestingly, the history of this transformation overlaps nearly perfectly with the development of motion pictures, which have served as silent---and then talking---witnesses to our changing lifestyles, changing cities, and changing attitudes about the increasingly urban world we live in.

Doctoral Research Paper

Required subject for all first year PhD students. Students develop a first year research paper completed in consultation with the students' advisor.

The Politics of Economic Democracy

This course begins with readings on the subjects of politics and planning, that is, the people. The initial classes will discuss the lives and perspectives of blacks, working class whites, and immigrants as illuminated through fictional narratives. The aim is to ground democracy’s potential within its principal components—the people themselves. The course will examine the “democracy” side of “economic democracy,” looking at traditional democratic theories compared to the political theories and assumptions of current proponents of economic democracy (Occupy, labor advocates, etc.).

Theory & Practice of Public Policy

This course is organized around three broad topics that cut across policy sectors and political/geographic jurisdictions. 1) Representing policy problems, including how situations become defined as public problems and different modes of portraying problems (narratives, numbers, causal stories, photos, maps, and classification schemes). 2) Explaining broad patterns of continuity and change, with attention to theories that emphasize ideas, interests, institutions, historical processes, and social movements.