Urban Studies - Fall 2013
ECON 340 – Public Finance
4 semester hours
Prerequisites: ECON 190
Despite claims to the contrary, not every good or service can be provided by a perfectly competitive market: Sometimes there is a role for government. Public Finance explores the rationale for government intervention in economic activity and its effects on the economy. This course will examine “market failures” caused by external costs and benefits, as well as the existence of public goods, as justifications for government intervention. We will also look at examples of government intervention in such area as retirement insurance (Social Security) or health care, both issues of current concern. Taxation and its impact on income distribution, as well as the equity and efficiency of the tax system, will also be considered as time permits. The course will have a lecture/discussion format. Grades will be based on three midterm exams and a comprehensive final exam.
POLI 222S Urban Politics
This course is an examination of politics and government in American cities. Emphasis is on how changes over time in local political structures and processes have affected the delivery of services at this most basic level of our federal system. The course has a lecture/discussion format. Two exams, quizzes, and a simulation will be required. 02/13
POLI 321 1W Public Policy
Prerequisites: POLI 101S and Jr class standing
This course is designed to consider the nature of public policy and the challenges that face society as we try to create solutions to difficult problems. The semester begins with theories of justice and then explores the paradoxes that plague public policy. The class then tackles the issue of funding public schools. Students will perform a statistical analysis of Ohio school districts and research the current funding structure for Ohio schools. Several off-campus experiences are required to gain an understanding of the challenges facing urban schools. Evaluation will be based on a research paper, essay exams, and additional assignments. 02/13
RELI 176R Racism & Social Ethics
This is not a course on African American Religion. It is rather a course on the racism practiced against African Americans in the United States. It assumes that racism is bad. It does not assume that we know either just what constitutes racism or what to do about it. We shall begin by confronting the reality of the issue in our society. We will then examine some approaches to the issue arising from the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements. Next we will examine the nature of institutional racism in contemporary U.S. society.
SOCI 201/GEOG 230 01 Urban Geography
Pre-requisites: Minimum Math Placement 22, Permission of instructor
World urbanization has increased dramatically in the course of the 20th century. More people in the world live in urban areas than in rural setting. Developing countries, with large portion of their population yet in rural areas, face an extremely fast rate of urbanization, and lead the world in number of mega-cities, often surrounded by shanty towns. Is this development sustainable?
Developed countries are facing urban sprawl that drives demand for energy resources further. Is ‘smart growth’ a solution for addressing this problem? What is the origin of urban growth and decline in general, and how Midwestern cities are affected by de-industrialization? How spatial organization of North American cities is different from European, Latin American or Asian cities? All these questions and many more will be a focus of this course. A lecture/discussion format is anticipated, combined with field and computer lab assignments.
URBN 171: Introduction to the City
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the academic study of the city. We shall examine a number of important issues facing cities which raise more general tensions in urban life from different perspectives. A typical segment of the course will consist of readings and presentations from two or three disciplines addressing a common issue, e.g. housing, education, downtown development. The principal objective of the course is to get students to think more critically about cities, their problems, and some possible solutions. Assignments will include quizzes over assigned readings and three examinations.