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CCS Teaching 2017

CCS Teaching: Development Studies Masters Programme

Civil Society and Development
Objectives of the Course
This course aims to acquaint students with the concept of civil society and its influence and impact on development trajectories. It will examine various theories and interpretations of civil society from societas civilis to global civil society and review debates on NGOs and social movements. There will be a specific focus on civil society in South Africa with respect to social movements and social protest. The course will include a session on ‘spaces’ of participation in the light of debates around participatory democracy and development. There will also be sessions assessing the practice of philanthropy and social entrepreneurship within understandings of civil society.

Political Economy of the Welfare State
Objectives of the Course
This course aims to survey debates over state intervention in selected fields of social policy, political economy and political ecology. Political economy refers to the overall configuration of power relations in public policy formulation which in turn is an outcome of institutional evolution, accumulation processes, social struggles and other factors both global and domestic.

Social Policy
Objectives of the Course
The aim of this course is to build the conceptual scaffolding required for understanding social policy. The first session will examine the broad territory of social policy and examine some of the key moments in which society began implementing measures to assist the welfare and development of their citizens. The second session will use an overview of ideological positions on social policy to engage some of the broad political choices that social policy entails.

Later sessions will consider more specifically the forms of welfare state that have emerged both in the global North and South. The course will also consider the role of Social Policy in the global South. Welfare states are often associated with the ‘developed’ world (e.g. North America, Europe and Australia). However a variety of factors including colonial relations and progressive officials in the South saw the implementation important welfare measures in developing countries throughout the 20th century. During the 1980s, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund applied a great deal of pressure to developing countries to cut state spending, often to social programmes. However, since the 1990s, social policy has become increasingly accepted as a necessity by the mainstream. Countries like Brazil, South Africa and Mexico have all introduced cash transfer schemes which have become integral elements to the survival mechanisms of the poor. What, then, is the potential for extending the coverage of social support mechanisms in the South? How should middle income countries balance the needs of the growing middle class and the poor? How could poor countries afford to spend on those who are materially deprived?

The final part of the course will apply the frameworks and debates to the case of South Africa. The prevailing Keynesian thinking of the 1930s and 1940s had a strong influence on policy in South Africa and resulted in the introduction of a state maintenance grant for some women, a pension for poor white, Indian and coloured people, and unemployment insurance. The apartheid government elected in 1948 also sought to harness the state to develop poor people but their project was, of course, racially targeted. Racially differentiated support systems were dismantled in the dying years of apartheid. Despite the fiscal restraint of the ANC led government of the 1990s, it introduced the Child Support Grant which has been taken up extensively. Pensions, too, are an essential input into poor households. But debates about the coverage and nature of social policy in South Africa continue – should it provide an income to the unemployed? How do housing and health policies measure up to the promises of development and what are the limitations of the free basic water and electricity policies?

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