SubjectsSubjects(version: 861)
Course, academic year 2019/2020
  
Urban Change and Grassroots Movements - JSB546
Title: Urban Change and Grassroots Movements
Guaranteed by: Department of Sociology (23-KS)
Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences
Actual: from 2018 to 2020
Semester: summer
Points: 7
E-Credits: 7
Examination process: summer s.:written
Hours per week, examination: summer s.:3/0 Ex [hours/week]
Capacity: 25 / unknown (30)
Min. number of students: unlimited
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: full-time
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
priority enrollment if the course is part of the study plan
Guarantor: RNDr. Michaela Pixová, Ph.D.
Teacher(s): RNDr. Michaela Pixová, Ph.D.
Annotation
Last update: Jana Vojanová (31.01.2020)
The class Urban Change and Grassroots Movements in the Czech Republic introduces students to the processes of urban change in cities undergoing neoliberal restructuring and post-socialist transformation, and to the grassroots movements that emerge and operate in the cities as a response to these changes. It focuses on urban change and grassroots movements from the perspective of global processes, as well as on their specific local form in the Czech Republic, where they continue to be influenced by the country’s past in socialism.
Students will learn about different forms of activism, ranging from professional non-governmental organizations and neighbourhood initiatives, to various radical forms, and most recently also those emerging from the climate movement. Typical concerns, actors involved, and strategies used by urban social movements will also be explored. The course will consist of both seminars and Prague-based excursions to selected localities and organizations. Students will be provided with the relevant literature and be able to engage in discussions. Students interested in obtaining ECTS credits will produce their own final reports, and in small groups realise their own activist projects.
Aim of the course
Last update: Jana Vojanová (31.01.2020)

Goals:

The goal of the course is to introduce students to the study of urban grassroots movements and their role in the process of urban change. The objective is to provide students with theoretical and empirical knowledge about movements concerned with various aspects of urban life and urban development, with a special focus on movements in Czech cities. The second objective is to introduce students to the field of urban geography and theoretical knowledge about urban change, in the context of neoliberal restructuring, post-socialist transformation, and also unfolding climate crisis. The course hopes to draw students’ attention to the field of urban studies and urban sustainability, which currently deals with some of the most timely and dynamic topics and challenges faced by contemporary societies and the cities they inhabit. The course will consist of ten seminars and three excursions.  

Descriptors
Last update: Jana Vojanová (31.01.2020)

Type of Completion: Zk (based on the completion of all requirements and assessment methods)

Timetable: Tuesday, 9,30 – 11,40, from 18 February to 12 May 2020

Room: J3017

Teaching techniques: lectures, seminars,excursions, in-class discussions & group work, students’ own activist projects and field work

E-mail address: mpixova@hotmail.com

 

Course completion requirements
Last update: Jana Vojanová (31.01.2020)

1. Students are expected to read the required reading(s) for each seminar. The optional reading is only for those who have a special interest in the topic. 

2. Students must attend all seminars and excursions; only two absences will be tolerated.

3. Students are encouraged to actively participate in the seminars by posing questions of clarification or bringing up problems for discussion. It will be especially valuable if they enrich the discussion with insights from other cities and countries.

4. Students will be divided into smaller groups (based on the number of participants), and each group will conduct a small activist project of their own choosing. Students can choose from suggested topics or propose their own topic. The project can be based in Prague, or elsewhere in the Czech Republic. The project can have a form of a happening, performance, demonstration, petition, awareness rising campaign, direct action, public intervention, participation at an event organized by an existing activist group art etc. Students will record the event (photos, videos, live streaming) and describe the project and its outcomes (e.g. reactions of the public) in a short report (approximately 2000 words). They must support their argument or intention with the help of available literature, documents and secondary data (flyers, campaigns, news reports, etc.).      

Printed reports will be submitted no later than four weeks before the end of the course, i.e. on 14 April. Reports will also be shared with other students via email and a course folder on Moodle. Reports of poor quality will be rejected and will not count towards the student’s grade.

5. Seminars topics with required reading(s) will be opened by a presentation and discussion moderated by pre-selected (pairs of) students, who will bring up problems related to the required reading(s) and will discuss them with other students and with the lecturer. Both the students and the lecturer will ask students questions to assess their understanding of the readings. 

6. At the end of the course each student will submit a final paper of approximately 2000 words on a topic relevant to the course (the topic must be proposed to the lecturer by 31 March, final papers will be due on 21 April). The final papers should be linked to the required reading and content of the lectures and include its author’s position on the topic of the paper. 

 

Assessment method:

1) Presentation and moderated discussion – 20 %

2) Project reports – 30 %

3) Final paper – 40 %

3) Active participation in the seminars and excursions – 10 %

 

Grading system:

90 - 100: Excellent

80- 89: Very good

60 - 79: Good

less than 60 points: Fail 

Literature
Last update: Jana Vojanová (31.01.2020)

** - required reading

 

** Domaradzka, A. 2017. Leveling the Playfield: Urban Movement in the Strategic Action Field of Urban Policy in Poland, in: J. Hou, S. Knierbein (Eds.), City Unsilenced: Urban Resistance and Public Space in the Age of Shrinking Democracy. Routledge

** Harvey, D. 2008. The Right to the City. “New Left Review,” 23-40. Dostupné online: https://newleftreview.org/II/53/david-harvey-the-right-to-the-city

** Jacobsson, K. 2015. Introduction: The Development of Urban Movements in Central and Eastern Europe, in: K. Jacobsson (Ed.) Urban grassroots movements in Central and Eastern Europe. Farnham: Ashgate, 1-32.

** Jacobson, M. 2009. Neoliberal Urban Restructuring, in: M. Jacobson, Producing and Contesting the Neoliberal Citizen: EN DOCUMENTOS http://psicologiasocial.uab.es/fic/es/do

** Pickvance, C. 2003. From urban social movements to urban movements: a review and introduction to a symposium on urban movements. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 27(1), 102–109.

** Pixová, M., Novák, A. 2016. [Squatting in] Prague post-1989. Boom, decline, and renaissance,” Baltic Worlds, 2, 34 – 45.

** Pixová, M., Sládek, J. 2016. Touristification and awakening civil society in post-socialist Prague, in: Colomb, C., Novy, J. (Eds.). Protest and Resistance in the City. London: Routledge.

** Sýkora, L. 1994. Local Urban Restructuring as a Mirror of Globalization Processes: Prague in the 1990s. Urban Studies, 31(7), 1149-1166.

** Sýkora, L. 2009. Post-socialist cities, in: R. Kitchin, N. Thrift (Eds.) International Encyclopaedia of Human Geography, Vol. 8, Oxford: Elsevier, 387-395.

  

* - optional reading

 

* Benford, R. D., Snow D. A. 2000. Framing Processes and Social Movements: An Overview and Assessment. Annual Review of Sociology, 26, 611–639. 

* Brenner, N., Theodore, N. 2002. Cities and the Geographies of “Actually Existing Neoliberalism.” Antipode, 34 (3), 349–379. 

* Castells, M. 1983. The city and the grassroots: a cross-cultural theory of urban social movement. Edward Arnold, London.

* Císař, O., Vráblíková, K. 2012. Transnational activism of social movement organizations: The effect of European Union funding on local groups in the Czech Republic. European Union Politics, 14 (1), 140–160.

* Gualini, E., Bianchi, I. 2015. Space, Politics and Conflicts: A Review of Contemporary Debates in Urban Research and Planning Theory, in: E. Gualini (Ed.), Planning and Conflict: Critical Perspectives on Contentious Urban Developments. New York: Routledge.

* Harvey, D. 2012. Rebel Cities. From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution. London a New York: Verso. Available online: http://abahlali.org/files/Harvey_Rebel_cities.pdf

* Harvey, D. 1989. From Managerialism to Entrepreneurialism: The Transformation in Urban Governance in Late Capitalism. Geografiska Annaler. Series B, Human Geography, 71 (1), 3-17.

* Hodkinson, S., Chatterton, P. 2006. Autonomy in the city? Reflections on the social centres movement in the UK. City, 10(3), 305-315.

* Jacobsson, K. 2015. Conclusion: Towards a New Research Agenda, in: K. Jacobsson (Ed.) Urban grassroots movements in Central and Eastern Europe. Farnham: Ashgate, 273-287.

* Polletta, F., Jasper, J.M. 2001. Collective Identity and Social Movements. Annual Review of Sociology, 27, 283-305.

* Smith, N. 2002. New Globalism, New Urbanism: Gentrification as Global Urban Strategy. Antipode, 34 (3), 427–450.

 

Other literature

* Harvey, D. 2012. Rebel Cities: From the right to the city to the urban revolution. London and New York: Verso. Available online: http://abahlali.org/files/Harvey_Rebel_cities.pdf

* Hodkinson, S., Chatterton, P. 2006. Autonomy in the city? Reflections on the social centres movement in the UK. City, 10 (3), 305-315.

* Gualini, E., Bianchi, I. 2015. Space, Politics and Conflicts: A Review of Contemporary Debates in Urban Research and Planning Theory. In E. Gualini (Ed.), Planning and Conflict: Critical Perspectives on Contentious Urban Developments. New York: Routledge.

 

 

 

 

 

Requirements to the exam
Last update: Jana Vojanová (31.01.2019)

See "podmínky zakončení předmětu"

Syllabus
Last update: Jana Vojanová (31.01.2020)

** - required reading

* - optional reading

 

1. Introductory Class (18 02 2020)

Goals, requirements, brief introduction to urban geography, urban restructuring, critical urban theory, urban grassroots movements, climate crisis and movement.

 

2. Urban change under neoliberal restructuring (25 02 2020)

** Jacobson, M. 2009. Neoliberal Urban Restructuring, in: M. Jacobson, Producing and Contesting the Neoliberal Citizen: EN DOCUMENTOS http://psicologiasocial.uab.es/fic/en/book/2009/07/20-2

* Harvey, D. 1989. From Managerialism to Entrepreneurialism: The Transformation in Urban Governance in Late Capitalism. Geografiska Annaler. Series B, Human Geography, 71 (1), 3-17.

* Brenner, N., Theodore, N. 2002. Cities and the Geographies of “Actually Existing Neoliberalism.” Antipode, 34 (3), 349–379.

* Smith, N. 2002. New Globalism, New Urbanism: Gentrification as Global Urban Strategy. Antipode, 34 (3), 427–450.

 

3. Urban grassroots movements (03 03 2020)

** Pickvance, C. 2003. From urban social movements to urban movements: a review and introduction to a symposium on urban movements. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 27 (1), 102–109.

 

** Harvey, D. 2008. The Right to the City. “New Left Review,” 23-40. Available online: https://newleftreview.org/II/53/david-harvey-the-right-to-the-city

 

* Castells, M. 1983. The city and the grassroots: a cross-cultural theory of urban social movement, London: Edward Arnold.

 

 

4. Introduction to post-socialist urban transformation (10 03 2019) 

** Sýkora, L. 2009. Post-socialist cities in International Encyclopaedia of Human Geography edited by R. Kitchin and N. Thrift, Vol. 8, Oxford: Elsevier, 387-395.

 

 

 

5. Urban grassroots movements in Czech cities (17 03 2020)

 

** Jacobsson, K. 2015. Introduction: The Development of Urban Movements in Central and Eastern Europe, in Urban grassroots movements in Central and Eastern Europe edited by K. Jacobsson. Farnham: Ashgate, 1-32.

 

* Jacobsson, K. 2015. Conclusion: Towards a New Research Agenda, in Urban grassroots movements in Central and Eastern Europe edited by K. Jacobsson. Farnham: Ashgate, 273-287.

 

* Pixová, M. 2020. Contested Czech Cities: From Urban Grassroots to Pro-democratic Populism. Springer, Singapore.

 

 

6. Excursion: Contested Urban Issues in Post-Socialist Prague (24 03 2020)

Urban tour with a guest.

 

7. Tourism and Housing Crisis in Prague: Impacts and Resistance (31 03 2020)

** Pixová, M., Sládek, J. 2016. Touristification and awakening civil society in post-socialist Prague, in: Colomb, C., Novy, J. (Eds.). Protest and Resistance in the City. Routledge, London, 73-89.

** Pixová, M., Novák, A. 2016. [Squatting in] Prague post-1989. Boom, decline, and renaissance,” Baltic Worlds, 2, 34 – 45.

 

8. Excursion: Professional NGOs concerned with advocacy and lobbying in the area of urban policies, planning and development (07 04 2020)

Excursion to one (or two) of the following organizations:

1) Arnika / Klub Za starou Prahu / Auto*mat / Nadace Via / Frank Bold / Zelený kruh / reSITE / Čtyři dny v pohybu / Containall or others.

* Císař, O., Vráblíková 2012. Transnational activism of social movement organizations: The effect of European Union funding on local groups in the Czech Republic. European Union Politics, 14 (1), 140–160.

 

9. Guest lecture (14 04 2020)

In discussion lecture by Prof. Mark Gottdiener on right to the city and urban social movements in the USA.

 

10. Excursion: Activists in politics: From the backyard to the local city hall (21 04 2020)

Excursion to the city hall in the Prague 7 district, which is run by an “activist government.” Presentation by local politicians and guided tour around local urban controversies (Palác Stromovka). 

 

** Pixová, M. 2018. The Empowering Potential of Reformist Urban Activism in Czech Cities. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations. 29, (4), 670 – 682. 

* Domaradzka, A. (2017). Leveling the Playfield: Urban Movement in the Strategic Action Field of Urban Policy in Poland. in: J. Hou, S. Knierbein (Eds.), City Unsilenced: Urban Resistance and Public Space in the Age of Shrinking Democracy. Routledge.

 

11. Climate movements and the city, excursion to the Extinction Rebellion office (28 04 2020)

** Booth, E. 2019. Extinction Rebellion: social work, climate change and solidarity. Critical and Radical Social Work. 7 (2), 257–261.

** Watts, M. 2017. Cities spearhead climate action. Nature Climate Change. 7, 537–538.

 

12. Presentation of students’ activist project reports (05 05 2020)

 

13. Course Wrap-Up (12 05 2020)

Presentation and evaluation of the students’ final papers, concluding discussion of the course topics and students’ questions and feedback.

 

 

 
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