Economic & Social Development of Regions

All courses, arranged by program, are listed in the catalog. Courses designated as “active” have been offered in the past three years. Courses designated as “inactive” have not been offered in the past three years and indicate the semester in which the course was last offered. If you cannot locate a specific course, try our advanced search link. Current class schedules, with posted days and times, may be found on the Registrar's Office website or by logging directly into iSiS.

57.503 Work, Technology and Training Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 6183
Status Active

This course surveys issues of work organization and technological change and the key roles they play in the development process. Contrasts are made among different systems of production, and key changes in the work roles and responsibilities of non-supervisory employees, front line supervisors and middle and upper management are identified. This course includes comparisons of historical transformations at key moments in the emergence of internationally competitive developed economies. In addition, selected contemporary cases exemplify current issues in the ongoing transformation of work organization and technology. Students are introduced to practical considerations in work process design. Student projects are required.

57.506 Research Methods Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 6186
Status Active

This course is an applied survey of research methods appropriate for regional economic and social development. Students will learn data presentation and basic descriptive and inferential statistics, as well as the basics of researching data sources and primary data-gathering techniques (survey, case study, archival), and a framework for deciding when particular methods of data-gathering and analysis are appropriate. Students will apply the techniques as they learn them.

57.508 The Budget as a Policy, Planning and Information Tool Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 33622
Status Active

In simple terms, an organization�s budget is its financial plan of operations based on expected income and anticipated expenses for a given period. The budget involves the priority ranking of desired ends and the selection of means to reach those ends in an environment of competing demands and limited resources. Budgeting is an ongoing process of gathering information, applying that information to the allocation of scarce resources as well as to the evaluation of the achievement of desired ends. The budget is also a policy document used to both communicate organizational goals and to promote their realization. This course will examine the various forms financial plans can take in local government entities and not-for-profit organizations. It will focus on the budget as a policy, planning and information tool for managing practitioners. It will begin with an overview of the legal, procedural and practical framework of budgeting in the public and nongovernmental organization (NGO) sectors, examine closely the applications of the various stages of the budget process, delve into modern strategic program management and conclude with case studies of both a municipal jurisdiction and a regional community action agency..

57.511 Dynamics Power and Authority Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 6189
Status Active

This course surveys theories of power, authority, participation, and politics. Building on these theories, students will examine changing social, political, and economic patterns of inequality based on class, race (and related divisions of ethnicity, religion, caste, nationality), and gender. Reviews various approaches to altering these dynamics (business strategy, public policy, community and social movements). Cuts across units of firm, community, region, and nation, along with corresponding governmental institutions, and links theoretical analysis with study of practical problem solving. Instructor-initiated cases drawn from a variety of national experiences. Students will learn techniques of power analysis and prepare a power analysis project.

57.512 Community Conflict Resolution Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 6190
Status Active

This course gives students an understanding of the main issues and solutions involved in community level conflict resolution; e.g., in neighborhoods, workplaces, and other institutions. It develops students' skills in practicing conflict resolution and/or evaluating programs in the field of dispute resolution.It is important to understand why conflict happens and how to resolve conflict.

57.513 Foundations Of Comparative Regional Development Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 6191
Status Active

This course offers an initial grounding in economic, historical, political, and sociological methodologies and introduces discipline-based and interdisciplinary approaches to regional development. It introduces students to: identifying and assessing structural factors influencing regional development, defining regional development challenges, and generating problem-solving strategies and public policies. The course highlights the relationship between theory and application, and looks at development at the community, national, and international levels. It makes extensive use of case materials on regional development, including a unit on the development of the Massachusetts economy. Students will learn how to find, prepare and analyze data on regional economies and will learn several basic quantitative tools for regional analysis.

57.514 Community Mapping Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 6192
Status Active

Interest in community mapping as a way to identify, analyze, and address problems is growing as new computer tools become available. This course provides students with hands-on training in using geographic information systems (GIS) for research, problem solving, and social action. Students will read the interdisciplinary literature that shows how scholars from such fields as regional economic and social development, public policy, community psychology, management, environmental sciences, health care, and criminal justice are using GIS to explore questions and work with different constituencies. Students will learn about how people in different jobs (in government, industry, nonprofits) are employing community mapping in innovative ways for grant writing, needs assessment, strategic planning, evaluation, and as a way to identify and address inequities. At the completion of the course, students will be adept at using GIS programs applying the technology to problems of their choice.

57.515 Politics and Economics of Public Policy Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 6193
Status Active

The course will provide students with both a set of analytical frameworks to understand how and why specific public policies develop, and a set of normative perspectives to assess what makes for good public policy. Our treatment will be interdisciplinary drawing from areas of economics and political science. Following some grounding in the political economy of the role of government and policy making in a market based economy such as the United States, we will do case studies to understand and to evaluate policies from a variety of current areas of interest to the students and professors. Students will be introduced to basic ideas of cost benefit analysis, program evaluation, and implementation analysis.

57.518 Comparative Environmental Study Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 6196
Status Active

In this course, students will explore the dynamics and interactions of social, economic and political factors that aid or impede a community's ability to contribute to global environmental sustainability , one that does not threaten the well being of future generation. Students will each select a city from one of six developing regions (Latin America, China, Southeast Asia, India and South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and North Africa & the Middle East), a city from one of two transitional regions (Russia and Eastern Europe), and a city from an industrial region (the New England area of the United States) of similar population size. Using information from government documents and other library resources, personal contacts, as well as the World Wide Web sites which use maps and geographic information systems (GIS) to explore environmental health issues, students will research the status of environmental sustainability for each of their 3 chosen regions. At the conclusion of the course students will present a comparison of their 3 regions.

57.520 Inequality and Organization Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 6198
Status Active

Despite the lowest unemployment rate in 25 years, the economic recovery of the 1990s has brought a Treadmill Economy running faster with minimal gain. With low productivity growth, surprisingly little growth in wages and a long-term slowdown in economic growth since the 1970s, the United States continues to experience increasing inequality. What forces are at work shaping these trends and can they be modified or reversed on the local, state and regional levels? How have these trends both shaped and been influenced by social and business policies concerning poverty and welfare, local and urban development, technology and economic development, changes in work organization and labor-management relations, domestic investment and international competition? This seminar course will bring local and national experts on these issues to present their findings and discuss their view of future prospects for local and regional social and economic development policy.

57.527 Sustainable Housing Development and Land Use: Conflict, Policy, and Practice Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 37781
Status Active

Housing is fundamental to the quality of life in communities, and housing conflict, policy and practice shape the availability of this fundamental good. This course will examine the economic, environmental, social, and cultural factors that shape housing and its sustainability. The contentious nature of housing and land use policy in the United States will be summarized, with students learning how housing policy impacts communities, states, and regions. The course will then give students a detailed understanding of the conflictive process through which housing is developed and the role the market, government, funders, workers, and housing consumers play in influencing the creation and development of housing. The course will highlight ways in which current housing development policy and practices are not sustainable, and will examine more recent efforts to establish standards and practices that enhance consensus and sustainability. Students will learn how to manage conflict and take a housing project through the various stages, such as project conceptualization, market analysis, design, site acquisition, financing, construction, and occupancy. While the course focuses on the U.S. context, students will learn of international efforts to achieve greater sustainability in housing. The course will provide students with both practical and theoretical knowledge of housing and land use conflict, policy and development practices. Case studies of actual projects will be presented.

57.537 Developing Economies Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 6205
Status Active

This course explores alternative visions of what is meant by development, what is involved in the development process, and who benefits from it. A country must choose the goals (such as growth, equity, or sustainable human development) it hopes to achieve and develop a strategy for attaining them. It must make critical decisions regarding the roles of major sectors of the economy (agriculture, industry, services, the extent of foreign involvement), the form of organization they will have (large or small scale, centralized or decentralized, private or public ownership), and the roles of major institutions (government, financial sectors, multinational corporations, and international aid agencies). The theoretical and practical issues we will discuss have broad relevance for understanding the varied development process in Asian countries, the struggles of middle-level developing countries (such as Mexico or Brazil) or the despair of the broad group of countries for which development seems an increasingly dimmer vision (many African countries). The course emphasizes interconnections in the world economy. On the one hand, policies shaped by institutions in First World or industrialized countries have a significant and often adverse impact on developing countries. On the other hand, the failure of development programs in many countries thought to be "developing" has a critical impact on the future of industrialized nations. Students will be expected to develop thoughtful positions on current controversial issues in development and to suggest appropriate strategies for change.

57.539 Justice and Trade in the Global Economy Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 37372
Status Active

We know that we are part of a global economy and that many of the things we buy and consume are produced in other countries. But what do we know of how they are made? Do we understand that there may be hidden costs in the price we pay for goods at the supermarket, in a department store? Understanding the nature of global trade is critical for us to be effective citizens in the world. Perhaps more important is that we understand how goods are produced and traded - what many think of as "fair" trade. The subject of Fair Trade isn't simply limited to the production and sale of coffee and chocolate. Fair Trade principles encompass environmental issues, human rights, and politics. Once aware of the ramifications of consumerism on all parts of the world, including the United States, people can make informed choices about the products they buy, the companies that employ them, and the political views they support. By the end of this course students should understand the major ideas and tools used to comprehend complex international and global trade relations. Students will understand the way in which goods are produced for global markets and the possible human and environmental costs such production entails.

57.540 China and India in the Global Economy Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 34691
Status Active

In recent years China and India, with one-third of the world's population, have emerged as economic powerhouses in the global economy. This course will explain how these once-latent giants have become major participants in global competition, focusing in particular on their capabilities in the information and communication technologies industries. The course will cover the roles of the state, foreign investment and trade, high-tech districts, industrial enterprises, education, skill formation, knowledge creation, indigenous innovation in Chinese and Indian economic development. We will conclude the course by considering the sustainability of the Chinese and Indian development paths. Throughout the course, we will compare the social structures and economic experiences of the two nations to gain insight into their distinctive development paths.

57.545 The Political Economy of Employment Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 35782
Status Active

This course provides an analysis of the ways in which employment opportunities are created, sustained, and destroyed in a modern capitalist economy such as the United States. We begin by taking a close look at the current state of employment in the US economy. Then we delve into the US historical experience over the past century, focusing along the way on the Great Depression of the 1930s, the post-World War II expansion, the stagflation of the 1970s, and the profound transformation in the conditions of employment over the last two decades of the 20th century which have made jobs of even the best educated members of the labor force much less secure than previously. With this historical perspective as a foundation, we consider alternative theories of why and how the economic system creates, sustains and destroys jobs. We then ask in what ways these processes operate in the business sector, where companies need to generate profits to survive, and the government sector, which has as its foundation the taxation of the population. This understanding of the dynamics of employment in the United States provides an essential basis for explaining two key intertwined features of the US political economy over the past three decades: an increasingly unequal distribution of income and the polarization of income from employment with the disappearance of "middle class" jobs. Contributing to these outcomes, especially in the 2000s, has been the globalization of the labor force, including the "offshoring" of jobs by US companies to lower wage areas of the world. The course explores differential access to employment opportunities by race, ethnicity, and gender. The remainder of the course examines the ideologies and social movements that underpin business and government employment policy, culminating in an evaluation of the effectiveness of the current government's attempt to stimulate job creation and avert a deepening economic crisis.

57.546 Grant Writing Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5785
Status Active

This course will be a hands-on course in grant writing. One of the first lessons that you will learn is that grant writing is only to a small degree about writing. Successful grants emerge from working effectively with others to draw out ideas, capture those ideas to create a program or a plan for research, show how the plan is an appropriate one to respond to the "Request for Proposals", and package those ideas so that they make sense to the people who will review the proposal. Grant writing is increasingly a team building activity. Whether or not you obtain the funding is sometimes less important than the networking and planning that you do as a part of developing a grant proposal.

57.558 Peace and Conflict Field Experience Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 37366
Status Active

A program of practical experience in the field of Peace and Conflict. Students can work in a variety of areas related to Peace and Conflict Studies. Students meet regularly as a class on campus with the designated instructor to discuss their experiences and to learn more about the settings in which they practice and the challenges that they confront.

57.591 Directed Study in Regional Economic Social Development Credits: 1-3

Course Details
Min Credits 1
Max Credits 3
Course ID 6207
Status Active

Students work under the supervision of a professor on a project of scale and scope agreed to by the professor and the student and commensurate with the number of credits awarded for the course.

57.592 Qualitative Research Methods Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 6208
Status Active

This course provides an in-depth introduction to theoretical and practical issues of qualitative research methodologies, including survey design, interviewing techniques, case studies, ethnography and related tools. The goal and final result of this course is for students to design a research or action project in their own field of interest. This final product often forms the proposal for the student�s capstone thesis or project.

57.598 Organizational Dynamics and Regional Development Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 6209
Status Active

This course presents theory and practice of how to develop organizations capable of learning, innovating, and empowering their participants. Case studies will focus on challenges and opportunities posed to contemporary organizations and institutions engaged in economic development. These cases will be drawn from, and principles will be applicable to, for-profit businesses, public and nonprofit agencies, and voluntary organizations. This course will also examine the nature of interactions among these various types of organizations and institutions within a variety of social and historical settings.

57.601 RESD Study Abroad I Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 33071
Status Active

Graduate study abroad in an institution with a GPAC-approved graduate-level exchange program. The specific course to be taken will be approved by the RESD Graduate Coordinator.

57.602 RESD Study Abroad 2 Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 33072
Status Active

Graduate study abroad in an institution with a GPAC-approved graduate-level exchange program. The specific course to be taken abroad will be approved by the RESD Graduate Coordinator.

57.603 RESD Study Abroad 3 Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 33073
Status Active

Graduate study abroad in an institution with a GPAC-approved graduate level exchange program. The specific course to be taken abroad will be pproved by the RESD Graduate Coordinator.

57.605 Social Movements And Empowerment Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 6211
Status Active

This course focuses on ways in which non-elite groups and individuals can gain control over important aspects of economic and social development. These aspects include decisions about such matters as industrial location, work conditions, community services and environmental protection; and the status of women, ethnic/racial minorities and other disadvantaged groups. Special attention is paid to the dynamics and potential impact of grass-roots social movements.

57.691 Practicum in Regional Economic Social Development Credits: 1-3

Course Details
Min Credits 1
Max Credits 3
Course ID 6212
Status Active

Practicum in Regional Economic Social Development

57.733 Master Project Regional Economic Social Development Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 6215
Status Active

Approval of advisor and Graduate Coordinator. The student carries out a major project of professional practice in collaboration with an agency engaged in economic or social development. A faculty supervisor and an agency-based supervisor both oversee the work.

57.746 Masters Thesis Regional Economic Social Development Credits: 6

Course Details
Min Credits 6
Max Credits 6
Course ID 6216
Status Active

Approval of advisor and Graduate Coordinator. For graduate students actively engaged in research leading toward the submission of a written thesis. A program of supervised study will be arranged between the student and a faculty supervisor.