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.). The course then explores means and methods of developing democratic theory and practice. One part of this will look into the politics of knowledge creation, with a focus on the contested history of “economic planning” in the U.S.. The final part of the course will look into the political economy of emotions, e.g., the ethics of community engagement and evaluation; often neglected yet central topic in politics and economics.