KEIO Opencourseware >> Course List >> International Center >>IN SEARCH OF NEW CIVIC SOCIETIES, Spring 2007

Dave Bockmann / Yuko Nishimura

[Course Guide]

Sub Title:

How citizen’s grassroots organizations attempt to alter the relationships of power.

Course Description:

“Civic society” refers to the participation of individuals and voluntary (non-governmental)
organizations in the political and the public sectors, including governmental decision making. In this sense, civic society is well established in the U.S., less so in Japan where only recently local governments have begun to collaborate with grassroots citizen organizations in the public sphere. The term is also used by critics of “globalization” to refer to grassroots resistance to the flow of human, financial, resource and power capital throughout the global economy.
In this course, we will examine civic society from several angles, globally and locally. We will look at how civic engagement (in the U.S., for example) includes struggles by minorities, women and the poor to alter the relationships of power, as well as non-confrontational community improvement and protection projects. We also examine the growing civic society in Japan. In the spring term, the course will focus on community organizing and civic society building in the U.S. We will examine the role of community organizations in the civil rights movement, the women’s movement and the environmental movements of the 1960s and 70s and how a strong tradition of community building has since evolved.

Classes: 13
One 90-minute class per week

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