Course Number

IDCE 329 / ID 229

Syllabus Date

Fall 2021

Department course is offered by

ID - International Development and Social Change

Course description

“Property is not a thing, but a social relationship,” is this course’s point of departure. To own or possess often entails the exercise of power, exclusion and expropriation. For example, in many areas around the world women cannot own land and racial groups are excluded from accessing and owning land.

In the pursuit of social justice and ‘development’, how do development interventions and policy changes to improve land access rearrange or change community relations (inter- and intra /peace and conflict), family dynamics, and environmental outcomes? How has the process of land grabbing changed across time? How do countries/former colonies reconcile traditional law and contemporary Constitutional law introduced during colonialism? Can access to land make communities more resilient to climate change? Does displacement or the denial of land access influence health?

We seek to answer such questions in this course. Couse readings are global and comparative in nature allowing us to examine land relations and policy around the word. Each week in our class discussion we focus on the substance of the argument, the methodology used to create it, and the evidence (data) provided to support it. This means that as we read, we will focus on how authors create knowledge. As scholars and writers produce their work in particular historical moments, we will pay attention to assumptions an author brings into his/her work and how the political climate of a moment in time influences a text.

Document Type