Community and Environmental Sociology 617: Community Development

The web address for this syllabus is:

Professor: Randy Stoecker
Office:  Ag Hall 340d
Office Hours: by appointment
Phone:  608- 890-0764

Spring, 2020

Ag Hall 10

2:25-5:25pm, Mondays


The university administration is now mandating that faculty include certain content in their syllabi. Here is the content complying with that mandate:



In this course, I will define community development as activities involving grassroots people in improving their own life conditions. Such a definition brings up a number of questions which I hope you will be interested in: how much power can oppressed, exploited, and excluded people have in improving their own life conditions? What is the role of professionals in working with such people? What are the strategies involved in these activities? How do we maximize the possibilities of success? These are difficult questions requiring us to understand power and participation, knowledge, colonization and decolonization, and a variety of other things. My plan is for this course to touch on these and other topics that you may also be interested in.

Course and learning Goals

My main goal for this course is for you to learn about the philosophies, theories, history, and practices of community development in a variety of settings. In addition, it is easy to turn each topic in the course calendar into learning goals by adding “to understand” in front of the topic heading.

Our department has agreed to the following learning goals for our overall curriculum: 1. Understand how social science arguments are constructed and evaluated. 2. Develop ability to assess data quality and understand whether particular data is appropriate to answer specific questions. 3. Learn general theories on basic social processes, especially those related to the relationships between society and the environment and the social organization of communities. 4. Learn communication skills in the social sciences. Our class discussion process will support these learning goals.

Statement on Diversity

The Good Society will not come from an exclusive and very powerful few people representing only one set of experiences. It will come from many voices representing many life experiences. Likewise, the best knowledge will come from many voices speaking and listening and combining their wisdoms. I will strive to create a classroom environment that welcomes and includes diverse perspectives, especially perspectives that have been historically marginalized through one or another form of structural discrimination. I welcome the voices of people of all races, ethnicities, and nationalities; all sexual and gender identities; all body types; all spiritualities; all economic classes; all language backgrounds; all family types; all combinations of abilities and learning styles; all participation in international, national, and community service including activism and protest. And I encourage those who feel invisible in relation to these diversities to educate me so that I can welcome you as well. I cannot promise you a "safe" environment. In the current state and national political climates there are no "safe spaces," not even for me. I can only promise you that I will do my utmost to create a "brave space" where people can hopefully gradually feel powerful enough to speak from their experiences and thoughtfulness and contribute to knowledge diversity for all of us. I also admit that I will do that imperfectly and welcome you to hold me accountable so that my deeds live up to my words.

Learning Needs

It is very important to me that everyone is able to maximize their learning in this class. While, of course, you are responsible for much of that, I am responsible for creating a context where your learning style is respected. I always welcome, and will actively seek, feedback on how well the class process fits your learning style. I also welcome you to inform me of any learning needs that require adjustments in how the class materials are presented and how the class process is organized.

Student Health, including Mental Health

We are facing a student mental health crisis not just at UW-Madison but in higher education institutions across the country and in our society. Sadly, our society still stigmatizes mental health as if it is somehow different from other forms of health. I reject that stigmatization. Diabetes and depression, just as examples, are both real health conditions, they both respond to treatment (and interestingly both can be at least partly treated with behavioral interventions as well as with medication), and they both can impact one’s quality of life. I urge you to get treatment for mental health conditions the same way I would urge you to get treatment for any other health condition. I was also trained in counseling long ago (though I am not licensed) and am always willing to have an initial conversation with you and support you in seeking treatment from licensed professionals. You can access information about UW mental health services at . I know that they continue to be overwhelmed with requests for services. Even as they hire more staff, requests keep growing. So this too is a sociological problem. Mental health conditions are not just inside of people. They are also outside of people, in the social institutions we create. We need to change those external causes of mental health conditions, not just treat the internal consequences.

My Philosophy of Education

When teachers realize they still have things to learn and students realize they have things to teach, and when everyone is in an atmosphere where both students and teachers are encouraged to learn and teach, everyone benefits.

My job is to create and maintain a learning atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable taking intellectual and interpersonal risks, and to help you do your part in maintaining that atmosphere. I welcome critiques of ideas, especially my own. In the end, the best learning comes from connecting through our differences, especially if we practice respect for each other as people while we question and criticize each other’s ideas.

Professor Consultations

Please feel welcomed to consult with me whenever you have a question about course assignments, lectures, discussions, readings, or project activities. I will gladly discuss questions you have about the course material and our class process. Please also fee welcomed to consult with me whenever you find yourself interested in the issues raised in the course and you want to discuss further or get more information.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

You should know that you have specific rights that include accommodations for religious observances, physician-documented illnesses, and disabilities. You also have the right to appeal grading and disciplinary procedures that normally begin with contacting the chair of the department, Michael Bell, (608) 265-9930, or . If you do not feel comfortable contacting the chair you can contact the CALS Dean’s office at Of course, my goal is to structure and facilitate the course in such a way, that you feel comfortable contacting me about concerns you have.

You also have specific responsibilities that include things like avoiding plagiarism, not cheating on coursework, and treating each other with respect.

Important Academic Calendar Dates

Last day to drop with no record on transcript: January 29

Last day to drop with full tuition adjustment: January 31

Last day to drop without needing Dean’s approval: April 17

For other important dates, see

Student-Guided Course Content

I will determine the content for the first four weeks of class, based on what I think is the most foundational knowledge we all need about community development. We will engage in a process during our first class meeting to find out your learning goals and the topics you are interested in. Those will then inform what we do during the rest of the semester.


Please read these requirements carefully and ask questions about them as you are responsible for meeting these requirements. There is *some* flexibility in what you do for the course, but note that most of your grade will be dependent on showing that you understand the course readings. I will also grade you on points that you accumulate throughout the semester, *not* percentages. If you add all the potential points up, you will see that there are 142 possible points for undergrads and you only need to get 93 points for an A. For grads there are 157 possible points and you only need to get 108 points for an A. You are responsible for choosing what combination of activities you will do to get the number of points you want. The grading scale for the course will be:
For Undergraduate students, your scale is:
93 points and up = A, 88-92 = AB, 83-87 = B, 78-82 = BC, 70-78 = C, 60-69 = D, <60 = F
Graduate students, please add 15 points to that scale (you can do the extra points in either Integrative Explorations or projects). So your scale is:
108 points and up = A, 103-107 = AB, 98-102 = B, 93-97 = BC, 85-92 = C, 75-84 = D, <75 = F
The points come from the following requirements. Please note the late policy. You should not think of the due dates as the exact time you should turn something in. You should think of them as the last opportunity to turn something in. You can turn things as early as you want to. There will be no extensions.
Introductory Essay: Due before our first class meeting (worth 5 points; -1 point for every day late beginning as soon as class starts), is an approximately 500 word introductory essay on "What I want and what I bring." It is basically your thoughts on what kinds of things you want to get out of the class in relation to your personal and career goals, and what you bring to the class--which doesn't have to be limited to relevant experience but can also include what kinds of things you might bring to any quality classroom like curiosity. It can include biographical information and intellectual information. You can see my example at the end of this syllabus.
Integrative Explorations: There are 14 opportunities to do weekly Integrative Explorations. I know it’s a weird term, but I want to get away from formal-sounding words like “essay.” The idea is to encourage your creativity rather than frame it as some kind of disguised regurgitation exercise. I want you to use these to explore your thoughts, not just recite the thoughts of others. Each Exploration is worth 8 points, -1 point for each day late starting with the beginning of class that day. So there are a possible 112 points here, which means you do not need to do all the explorations, and you can do even fewer if you also do a project (see below).
The evaluation criteria will be:
~use at least one specific part (such as a quote) of each required reading or chapter (note the author and the page number when possible) as a jumping off point for a creative discussion of the ideas in those readings. Basically, if there are four readings, each is worth two points.
~write at least 250 words and try to limit yourself to 500 words. I will evaluate how accurately you present the portions of the readings you use, but I will not grade your own thoughts about those readings unless they involve interpretations of the reading that I think are not supportable. You can discuss each reading separately, or all in combination or comparison. You can write an Exploration even if you do not attend class that day (the deadline is the same whether or not you are in class). Note: you can not choose an incomplete grade to make up late reflections.
Project(s): Undergrads can choose to do up to 30 points maximum of project work and grad students can choose to do up to 45 points maximum of project work. Projects can be research papers (either literature or data based), grant proposals or thesis/dissertation proposals, preparation and delivery of a class session, pre-existing involvement in a community development project (community involvement that you engage in only for this course will not count), or art/performance activities directly related to community development. Here is the project point breakdown:
A written proposal, worth one-tenth of the project points you want, is due by the beginning of class, February 24 (-1 point for each day late). Upload your proposal in the Canvas project proposal section. The proposal should state the topic, activity, and scope of the work (including how many points you want it to count for), and justify how it fits community development. If you choose to write a paper, think in terms of 2 points per page, with about the same number of references as pages (a 15 page paper with 15 references, done well, is worth 30 points). If you are already doing a community development activity, think in terms of 1 point per hour of involvement, with a reflection covering each hour and connecting to course material (30 hours of engagement, with a reflection documenting all 30 hours and relating it to course material, is worth 30 points).

A complete rough draft, or partial reflection, worth four-tenths of the project points you want, is due by April 13 (-1 point for each day late). A complete rough draft of a paper is the entire paper with references. A partial reflection is a reflection on all the hours completed on a community development project up to the due date. I will deduct points for less than complete drafts and reflections, but not for quality of ideas or writing.
A final draft, or complete reflection, worth five-tenths of the project points you want, is due by May 4 (-1 point for each day late). Writing quality and development of ideas will count in the final draft.

You cannot get credit for a final draft or reflection without a rough draft or partial reflection and approved proposal. You can't get credit for a rough draft or partial draft without an approved proposal. So you still have to do the proposal even if it’s too late to get credit, and likewise for the second step. No proposals will be accepted after April 6. No rough drafts or partial reflections will be accepted after April 20.
Attendance: You will lose 8 points for each absence beyond the second one. However, you can recover those points by writing an Integrative Exploration based on the recommended readings (2 points per reading reflected upon), for the day you missed. I also want to let you know that I take attendance not as a policing mechanism but also as a way to stay connected with all of you. It’s difficult for me to get to know 40 students, and taking attendance helps me do that. You will not be penalized for technology failures beyond your control.
Incompletes: Incompletes are not available for making up Integrative Explorations, except with a letter from a medical professional saying you have a medical condition that prevented you from completing the assignments. Otherwise incompletes are only available for completing projects.


Doing the readings will be crucial for this course as we will use them as the basis for most of our discussions. If you haven't read, you won't be able to discuss and you may be limited to observing rather than participating. I reserve the right, if it becomes clear that people are not doing the readings, to introduce a ticketing system for participating in the discussion using quizzes.
It is important to me that you be able to afford the readings for this course as well. Thus, there are no textbooks. You should be able to access all the readings both on and off campus (note the "" section of some URLs that will allow you to access restricted readings by logging onto the UW library system). I have verified the links in the past few weeks. If you can't access a reading, please let me know.
Finally, it is important to me to find readings from authors of diverse backgrounds, as I believe strongly that life experience is always part of the knowledge process and I like to have access to knowledge that comes from a variety of life experiences. I do that imperfectly, of course, as I also think that there are also some very important readings that come from people who have life experiences more similar to me. This is also why the bulk of the course is student-guided, so that you can also influence what we read.


Week 1, Jan. 27:  Introduction and Course Design; Basics of Community Development

In order to have a productive discussion there will be both a reading assignment and a writing assignment due at the beginning of the first class meeting on January 27.  When you do the reading, bring questions, objections, critiques, and reactions to talk about in class.  When you do the writing, do it to contribute to our planning the rest of the course.

Writing Opportunity:

Due no later than the beginning of class on January 27, is an approximately 500 word essay on what you want from the course and what you are able and willing to bring to the course.  Please upload your essay on Canvas.   The purpose of this assignment is for you to do careful reflection on your interests and your own resources and skills.  It will be worth five points of your final grade and will be graded as a serious writing assignment. So put your best thinking and your best writing into it.  I will expect thoughtfulness and detail equal to my example below.  And it needs to be about community development.  You may not have had community development experiences, but you have other skills, perspective, and knowledge you can bring to a class on community development.  And if you don't want to learn anything about community development, then this isn't the right course for you.  You can see my example assignment at the end of the syllabus.

Reading Assignment:

Community Development Society. 2019. Principles of Good Practice.

Peter Boothroyd and H. Craig Davis. 1993. Community Economic Development: Three Approaches. Journal of Planning Education and Research.

Akwugo Emejulu. 2011. The silencing of radical democracy in American community development: the struggle of identities, discourses and practices. Community Development Journal, Volume 46, Issue 2: pages 229–244.

Richard Longhurst. 2017. Introduction: Universal Development – Research and Practice. IDS Bulletin Vol. 48, No. 1A.


Jnanabrata Bhattacharyya. 2004. Theorizing community development. Journal of the Community Development Society Volume 34, Issue 2: pages 5-34.
Bhattacharyya, J. (1995). Solidarity and Agency: Rethinking Community Development. Human Organization, 54(1), 60-69. Retrieved from
Biddle, William W. "The "fuzziness" of definition of community development." Community Development Journal 1, no. 2 (1966): 5-12. .
Smith, M. K. (1996, 2006, 2013). ‘What is community development?’, the encyclopaedia of informal education.  [
Mae Shaw. 2008. Community development and the politics of community. Community Development Journal, Volume 43, Issue 1, Pages 24–36,
Craig, G. (1998). Community Development in a Global Context. Community Development Journal, 33(1), 2-17. Retrieved from

John Gaventa. 2017. Toward universal development. Institute of Development Studies.

Week 2, Feb. 3: The History of Community Development
Writing Opportunity:
Integrative Exploration due before the beginning of class.
Reading Assignment:

Jordan Yin. 1998. The Community Development Industry System. Journal of Urban Affairs.

Alexander von Hoffman. 2013. The Past, Present, and Future of Community Development in the United States. Shelterforce.

Bryan M. Phifer. 1990. Community Development in America: A Brief History. Sociological Practice Volume 8 Issue 1.

Hans P. Binswanger-Mkhize Jacomina P. de Regt Stephen Spector (Eds). 2010. Chapter 2. Historical Roots and Evolution of Community Driven Development. In Local and Community Driven Development. Published by the World Bank.


Zdenek R.O., Walsh D. (2017) The Background and History of Community Development Organizations. In: Navigating Community Development. Palgrave Macmillan, New York.

United Nations, Economic and Social Council, Social Commission (Eleventh Session). (1957). CONCEPTS AND PRINCIPLES OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON FURTHER PRACTICAL MEASURES TO BE TAKEN BY INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS. Ekistics, 4(26), 92-96. Retrieved from
UNESCO. 1956.The Definition of community development. ACC. Working Group on Community Development, Geneva.
Love M. Chile, The historical context of community development in Aotearoa New Zealand, Community Development Journal, Volume 41, Issue 4, October 2006, Pages 407–425

Anandha Kumaran. 2009. History of Community Development.

Week 3, Feb. 10:  Neoliberalism in Community Development
Writing Opportunity:
Integrative Exploration due before the beginning of class.
Reading Assignment: [choose at least two topics—read main article and critique for each]

Asset-Based Community Development

John P. Kretzmann and John L. McKnight. 1993. Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets (pp. 1-11). Evanston, IL: Institute for Policy Research.


Mary Anne MacLeod & Akwugo Emejulu (2014) Neoliberalism With a Community Face? A Critical Analysis of Asset-Based Community Development in Scotland, Journal of Community Practice, 22:4, 430-450.

Collective impact:

John Kania & Mark Kramer. 2011. Collective Impact. Stanford Social Innovation Review.


Rodney Holmes. n.d. "Collective Impact": the 'next big thing' for Community Development, or a Neoliberal Trojan?

Social entrepreneurship:

Roger L. Martin & Sally Osberg ., 2007. Social Entrepreneurship: The Case for Definition.


Nadine Kreitmeyr (2019) Neoliberal co-optation and authoritarian renewal: social entrepreneurship networks in Jordan and Morocco, Globalizations, 16:3, 289-303.

Community Capitals:

Susan Fey, Corry Bregendahl, Cornelia Flora. 2006. The Measurement of Community Capitals through Research. Online Journal of Rural Research and Policy.


Van den Berk-Clark, Carissa & Pyles, Loretta. (2012). Deconstructing Neoliberal Community Development Approaches and a Case for the Solidarity Economy. Journal of Progressive Human Services. 23. 1-17. 10.1080/10428232.2011.606736.


Randy Stoecker. 2004. The Mystery of the Missing Social Capital and the Ghost of Social Structure: Why Community Development Can't Win. Prepublication Draft for Silverman, Robert Mark. (ed.) Community-Based Organizations: The Intersection of Social Capital and Local Context in Contemporary Urban Society. Wayne State University Press.


Zautra, Alex, John Hall, and Kate Murray. "Community Development and Community Resilience: An Integrative Approach: Journal of the Community Development Society Journal of the Community Development Society." Community Development 39.3 (2008): 130-47. ProQuest. Web. 29 Dec. 2019.


Tierney, K. (2015). Resilience and the Neoliberal Project: Discourses, Critiques, Practices—And Katrina. American Behavioral Scientist, 59(10), 1327–1342.


Jonathan Joseph (2013) Resilience as embedded neoliberalism: a governmentality approach, Resilience, 1:1, 38-52


A Second Look at Neoliberalism with a Community Face and Asset Based Community Development. 2016. Pathways to New Community Paradigms.

Cormac Russell. 2018. Neoliberalism with a Community Face?: A critical analysis of asset-based community development in Scotland? Nurture Development.

Kimberly LeChasseur (2016) Re-examining power and privilege in collective impact, Community Development, 47:2, 225-240,

Pamela Hartigan. 2014. Why social entrepreneurship has become a distraction: it’s mainstream capitalism that needs to change. From Poverty to Power.

Jenny Aimers, Peter Walker, Can community development practice survive neoliberalism in Aotearoa New Zealand?, Community Development Journal, Volume 51, Issue 3, July 2016, Pages 332–349,

Long, Jerrold A. “Overcoming Neoliberal Hegemony in Community Development: Law, Planning, and Selected Lamarckism.” The Urban Lawyer, vol. 44, no. 2, 2012, pp. 345–398. JSTOR,

Hanna-Mari Husu & Kaisu Kumpulainen (2019) Promoting neoliberal ideology in Finnish rural community development: the creation of new moral actors, Local Government Studies, 45:6, 893-912,

Incite! Women of Color Against Violence. 2007. The Revolution Will Not be Funded: Beyond The Nonprofit Industrial Complex. Boston: South End Press

Randy Stoecker and Benny Witkovsky. Forthcoming. Populism in the Transformation of U.S. Community Development. In Sue Kenny and Jim Ife (Eds) Populism, Democracy and Community Development.

James DeFilippis. 2001. The Myth of Social Capital in Community Development. Housing Policy Debate, 12(4).

Tom Wolff et al. 2016. Collaborating for Equity and Justice: Moving Beyond Collective Impact. Nonprofit Quarterly.

Week 4, Feb. 17:  Decolonizing Community Development
Writing Opportunity:
Integrative Exploration due before the beginning of class.
Reading Assignment:
Kalema, Naigwe Lee. 2019. Decolonizing Social Innovation for GlobalDevelopment. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School. read pp. 9-18.
Jo Mane. 2009. Kaupapa Maori: A community approach. MAI Review. VOl. 9.
Wutich, Amber & Beresford, Melissa. (2015). Community development in ‘Post-Neoliberal Bolivia’: decolonization or alternative modernizations?. Community Development Journal.'Post-Neoliberal_Bolivia'_decolonization_or_alternative_modernizations
Hayat, Norrinda Brown . 2018. Urban Decolonization. Michigan Journal of Race and Law.
Recommended Reading:
Erika Mundel, Gwen E. Chapman. 2010. A decolonizing approach to health promotion in Canada: the case of the Urban Aboriginal Community Kitchen Garden Project. Health Promotion International.
Ali Hapsah. 2011. Community Development Work in Developing Countries. Personal Blog.
Nadine Bowers Du Toit. 2018. Decolonizing Development? Missionalia 46-1
Deborah Barndt (ed.). 2011. ¡Viva! Rooted In Place. Introduction. SUNY Press.
Barry Ibrahima and Mark A Mattaini. 2019. Social Work. Vol. 62(2) 799 –813wSocial work in Africa: Decolonizing methodologies and approaches.
Martin Mowbray. 1997. Decolonization and Community Development on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Community Development Journal Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 321-331
New Economy Coalition. 2016. Decolonizing the Economy from the Ground Up: Case Study Boston Ujima Project.
Vermont Abenaki Artists Association. 2019. Abenaki Heritage Weekend: A case study in decolonizing the relationship between the Native American and Non-Native Communities.
Illana C. Livstrom, Amy Smith, Mary Rogers, Karl Hakansan. 2018. Decolonizing Research And Urban Youth Work Through Community University Partnerships. International Journal of Partnership Studies Vol. 5, No. 3.
Stephen Marglin. Development as Poison.
Timothy Shenk. 2015. Booked #1: What’s Wrong With Community Development? Dissent.
A Brief History of International Development Theories and Practices. 2015. Village Earth.
Shaun Grech (2011) Recolonising debates or perpetuated coloniality? Decentring the spaces of disability, development and community in the global South, International Journal of Inclusive Education, 15:1, 87-100, DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2010.496198
Mark Smith. 2019. What is Community Development. Infed.
Bautista, Emily Estioco, "Transformative Youth Organizing: A Decolonizing Social Movement Framework" (2018). LMU/LLS Theses and Dissertations. 522.

Week 5, Feb. 24:  The Problem of Participation
Writing Opportunity:
Integrative Exploration due before the beginning of class.
Project Proposal due before the beginning of class.
Reading Assignment:

Sherry Arnstein. 1969. (1969). "A ladder of citizen participation". Journal of the American Institute of Planners. 35 (4): 216–224.

James Whelan. 2007. Six Reasons Not to Engage: Compromise, Confrontation and the Commons. COMM-ORG Papers Collection.

Frances Cleaver. 1999. Paradoxes Of Participation:Questioning Participatory Approaches To Development. Journal of International Development 11, 597-612.

Nicholas V. Longo. 2005. Recognizing the Role of Community in Civic Education: Lessons from Hull House, Highlander Folk School, and the Neighborhood Learning Community. CIRCLE Working Paper 30.

Recommended Reading:

Joshua Prokopy & Paul Castelloe (1999) Participatory Development: Approaches From the Global South and the United States, Journal of the Community Development Society, 30:2, 213-231.

Raj M. Desai, Shareen Joshi. 2013. Collective Action and Community Development: Evidence from Self-Help Groups in Rural India. The World Bank Economic Review, Volume 28, Issue 3, 2014, Pages 492–524,

TonyEmmet. 2000. Beyond community participation? Alternative routes to civil engagement and development in South Africa. Development Southern Africa Vol 17, No 4

Paulo Freire. 1973. Extension or Communication.

Marjorie Mayo. 1994. ommunity participation, community development and non-formal education. Infed.

Robert Chambers. 1994. The origins and practice of participatory rural appraisal. World Development Volume 22, Issue 7, July 1994, Pages 953-969.

Philip Townsley. 1996. Participatory Rural Appraisal. Ch. 6 in Rapid rural appraisal, participatory rural appraisal and aquaculture. FAO FISHERIES TECHNICAL PAPER 358.

Bill Cooke and Uma Kothari (eds.). 2001. Participation: The New Tyranny? New York: Zed Books.

Unite for Sight. 2015. The "Nine Plagues" of Community Participation.

Week 6, March 2:  Community Development Skills
Writing Opportunity:
Integrative Exploration due before the beginning of class.
Reading Assignment--chapters from the Community Toolbox (

Model of practice:

Assessing community needs and resources (sections 1-11, 14, 18, 19, 23, 24)

Developing a strategic plan (all sections)

Developing an organizational structure (all sections)

Recommended Reading:

Flo Frank and Anne Smith. 1999. The Community Development Handbook. Human Resources Development Canada.

Donald W. Littrell, Doris Painter Littrell. 2006. Practicing Community Development. University of Missouri, Extension.

Anything else from the Community Toolbox.

Week 7, March 9:  Community Development Skills
Writing Opportunity:
Integrative Exploration due before the beginning of class.
Reading Assignment:

Community Toolbox. Group Facilitation and Problem Solving (all sections)

Community Toolbox. Developing a Logic Model or Theory of Change.

Mochal, Tom. 2009. 10 best practices for successful project management. TechRepublic. July 23.

ITS.  2005-2018.  Read What Are Problems?, The Stages of Problem-Solving, The Skills of Problem Solving, Why People Fail to Solve Problems Effectively, Barriers to Finding the Best Solution, and Overcoming the Blocks to Problem Solving

Recommended Reading:

Flo Frank and Anne Smith. 1999. The Community Development Handbook. Human Resources Development Canada.

Donald W. Littrell, Doris Painter Littrell. 2006. Practicing Community Development. University of Missouri, Extension.

Anything else from the Community Toolbox.

Roadmap to Community Development.∋d=4377

Week 8, March 16:  Spring Break
Optional Writing Opportunity: Integrative Exploration on any recommended readings--2 points per reading up to 8 points. Due 2:30pm on March 16.

Week 9, March 23: Community Development Responses to Pandemic
Writing Opportunity:
Integrative Exploration due before the beginning of class.
Reading Assignment:

Recommended Reading:

(see especially section on "serving the sick")

worker organizing

Week 10, March 30:  Community Organizing and Development
Writing Opportunity:
Integrative Exploration due before the beginning of class.
Reading Assignment:

Dave Beckwith, with Cristina Lopez. 1997. Community Organizing: People Power from the Grassroots

Randy Stoecker (2003) Understanding the Development-Organizing Dialectic,Journal of Urban Affairs, 25:4, 493-512,

Steve Callahan, Neil Mayer, Kris Palmer, and Larry Ferlazzo. 1999. Rowing the Boat with Two Oars.

Michael Leo Owens, 2000. Political Action and Black Church-Associated Community Development Corporations. (read chapters 2 and 4)

Recommended Reading:

Lee Winkelman. 1998. Massachusetts Community Development Corporations and Community Organizing

Joyce Mandell, 2009. CDCs and the Myth of the Organizing-Development Dialectic.

Randy Stoecker. 2001. Crossing the Development-Organizing Divide: A Report on the Toledo Community Organizing Training and Technical Assistance Program.

Randy Stoecker. 2000. The Organizing-Development Nexus

Randy Stoecker. 2001. Community Development and Community Organizing: Apples and Oranges? Chicken and Egg?

Randy Stoecker. 2001. Power or Programs? Two Paths to Community Development.

Week 11, April 6: Rural, Natural Resource, and Food Community Development
Writing Opportunity:
Integrative Exploration due before the beginning of class.
Reading Assignment:

Community develoPment in rural ameriCa: Collaborative, Regional, and Comprehensive Cynthia m. Duncan.

Musingo T. E. Mbuvi, Washington O. Ayiemba, Joram K. Kagombe, Matiku Paul M. 2015. Participatory Natural Resources Management: How To Involve Local Communities: A Handbook for PFM Facilitators. Read up to Ch. 6 in

White, Monica M. 2011. “D-Town Farm: African American Resistance to Food Insecurity and the Transformation of Detroit.” Environmental Practice. Vol. 13 (4).

Recommended Reading:

Nik Heynen, Hilda E. Kurtz, Amy Trauger. 2012. Food Justice, Hunger and the City. Geography Compass.

Food Not Bombs. Hungry for Peace.

Dishing up local food on Wisconsin Campuses.

Joann Lo and Ariel Jacobson. (2011). Human Rights from Field to Fork: Improving Labor Conditions for Food-sector Workers by Organizing across Boundaries. Race/Ethnicity: Multidisciplinary Global Contexts, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 61-82,

Thomas Macias. 2008. Working Toward a Just, Equitable, and Local Food System: The Social Impact of Community-Based Agriculture. Social Science Quarterly.

YSTEVEN GARRETT and GAIL FEENSTRA. 1999. Growing a Community Food System.

Michael Cox, Gwen Arnold and Sergio Villamayor Tomás. 2010. A Review of Design Principles for Community-based Natural Resource Management. Ecology and Society Vol. 15, No. 4.

Piers Blaikie. 2006. Is Small Really Beautiful? Community-based Natural Resource Management in Malawi and Botswana. World Development Volume 34, Issue 11, Pages 1942-1957.

Seth M. Wilson, Elizabeth H. Bradley, and Parks Gregory A. Neudecker. 2017. Learning to Live With Wolves: Community-based Conservation in the Blackfoot Valley of Montana. Human-Wildlife Interactions Vol. 11 Iss. 3.

Organize your community. Read: Community organizing in rural areas,;

Michael Holton, Center for Rural Affairs | Mar 12, 2007. 10 reasons rural community development is hard to do.

Gene F. Summers. 1996. Rural Community Development. Annual Review of Sociology.

Joe Szakos and Kristin Layng Szakos. 2008. Lessons from the Field: Organizing in Rural Communities Paperback.NY: Social Policy PRess.

Week 12, April 13:  (Ally Shepherd facilitating), International Community Development in Practice: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Writing Opportunity:
Integrative Exploration due before the beginning of class.
Project rough draft, progress report, or partial reflection due before beginning of class.
Reading Assignment:

The problem with international development

Will green technology kill Chile's deserts? (11 minute YouTube video)

Perspectives on failed aid projects from 'What went wrong' - citizen journalism collecting evaluations from the people whose lives aid projects affected. Choose at least 2 articles to read from the 6 examples of failed projects in Kenya:

• Gender-based violence hotline

• Electricity in slums (cartels v World Bank)

• Cash transfer programs

• Public toilet project

• Slum housing project

• nutrition project in violence-affected area

Recommended Reading:

Development Set (poem)

15 min TED Talk (video): Shut up and listen

Ivan Illich. To Hell With Good Intentions.

Teju Cole. 2012. The White-Savior Industrial Complex. The Atlantic.

Karen Rothmyer. 2011. The Nation: A Radical Alternative To Peace Corps. NPR.

Michael Buckler. 2019. Peace Corps's complicated relationship with the 'white savior' complex. The Hill.

Mary Mostafanezhad (2013) The Geography of Compassion in VolunteerTourism, Tourism Geographies, 15:2, 318-337,

Week 13, April 20:  Immigrants and Migrants and Community Development
Writing Opportunity:
Integrative Exploration due before the beginning of class.
Reading Assignment:

Randy Stoecker and the Fall 2014 Community and Environmental Sociology capstone class. 2015. 100 Years of Neighborhood House. [read home page,, 1916-1929,, and please feel welcomed to keep reading after that if you wish.

James DeFilippis and Benjamin Faust . 2013. Immigration and Community Development Corporations. Shelterforce.

Athena K. Ramos. 2016. Welcoming Immigrants: An Opportunity to Strengthen Rural Communities. Journal of Extension.

Recommended Reading:

The Role of ImmigrantsinGrowing Baltimore. 2013. The Abell Foundation and the City of Baltimore.

Mary C. Waters and Marisa Gerstein Pinea (eds). 2017. The Integration of Immigrants into American Society. National Academies Press.

Further chapters in the 100 Years of Neighborhood House, above

Lydia DeSantis. 1997. Building Healthy Communities with Immigrants and Refugees. Journal of Transcultural Nursing.

Evangelia Tastsoglou and Baukje Miedema. 2003. Immigrant Women and Community Development in the Canadian Maritimes: Outsiderswithin? Canadian Journal of Sociology.

Week 14, April 27:  Mutual Aid as a Form of Community Development
Writing Opportunity:
Integrative Exploration due before the beginning of class.
Reading Assignment:

Sigal Samuel. 2020. People are helping each other fight coronavirus, one Google spreadsheet at a time. Vox.

Pëtr Kropotkin. 1902. Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution. Read Chapter 8.

Recommended Reading:

Abigail Savitch-Lew. 2020. Mutual Aid Movement Playing Huge Role in COVID-19 Crisis.

Zole Matthew. 2020. ‘Solidarity Not Charity’: How L.A.’s ‘Mutual Aid’ Groups Are Creating Community During a Crisis. LA Magazine.

Dean Spade. Solidarity, not Charity. Social Text.

SAFETY PRACTICESA small zine of compiled resources on: FORFOOD & SUPPLY DISTRIBUTIONduring the Coronavirus Pandemic

Mutual Aid: How to Build a Network in Your Neighborhood

Finals Week, May 4, 2:45pm: no class
Final Integrative Exploration writing opportunity
Final projects due; absence makeup Integrative Explorations due

Example First Class Writing Assignment
What I Want and What I Bring
Randy Stoecker
My first encounter with community development was in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis. Slated to be wiped off the map by a capitalist-government (anti-community) development plan in the 1960s, residents fought back and took control over their neighborhood. By the time I arrived there as a graduate student in the 1980s, they were fully into redeveloping their housing and commercial buildings using the most participatory methods I have ever encountered. Their story became my PhD dissertation and then a book. Part of me never left that neighborhood of radical anarchists and various flavors of communists, and their standards for community development color how I look at every community development project since.
After I got my PhD I spent 17 years in Toledo, Ohio, which was a classic disinvested rustbelt city. Where my friends in Cedar-Riverside had to fight against corporate displacement, and could access massive resources for the most progressive community development possible, my friends in Toledo had to fight against neglect and an absence of resources of resources. So in Toledo I became part of the fight to develop practices and resources for grassroots community development. In Toledo I learned the role I could play as a research academic—doing the surveys and digging up the data the local community development groups needed to make their case for resources. Our greatest success was bringing $2 million into the city to support those groups. Ten years later you could see dozens of new affordable housing units in the city replacing the crumbled decayed structures that had set neglected for too long.
When I arrived in Madison and looked around for the issues and activities that I had learned to define as community development, I was surprised to not find them. I think that is both because of the era and the place. People across the country got pretty good at fighting off large corporate-led urban development when they didn’t want it, and those practicing such development got much better at selling it. So you can look at East Washington Avenue, for example, and see all that big urban development that happened with far less conflict than I would have expected. And the neglect that happens here lacks the same physical visibility—rather than housing decay there is housing shortage. People living in poverty here don’t live in super visible concentrated slums but in decentralized mini-slums. So in Madison my involvement has been more in community-based social development, working with groups such as the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development, the Urban Community Arts Network, and small informal neighborhood groups and environmental groups. The closest I have come to the kind of physical community development I was used to in Toledo and Minneapolis is the development of a new community center in southwest Madison.
You can see from these stories that most of my community development knowledge comes from my practice in U.S. urban settings. I have, however, had experience in rural Appalachia over a number of years, though I did not live in those communities. I have also had experience in rural Canada and urban Australia and Canada. But I have only had the briefest of experience in an “underdeveloped” context in Mexico. So one of the things I want is for any of you with more international experience to bring it into the class. My experiences have also led me to be quite critical of what I consider to be current popular neoliberal forms of community development, including asset-based community development, social entrepreneurship, and the “community capitals” (including social capital) approach, I am also teaching this class for the first time in over a decade (though I have maintained my practice throughout that time), taking over for a recently retired professor, so one of the other things I want is to update my literature base and thinking. I again hope for you to help me do that.