James W. Harrington
Explores ways in which economic and social changes affect the well-being and development of subnational, regional economies. Explanatory roles of such factors as labor and labor institutions, governments, technical change, corporations, capital markets, information costs, and international trade in the process of global restructuring. Specific focus changes annually.
Labor figures prominently in all explanations of and prescriptions for regional growth and development, traditionally as a key "factor" of production and industrial location. This seminar focuses attention on the reproduction of labor qualities, the structuring of labor markets, the process of employment search, labor control, and the design of work - referred to collectively as "labor processes." In a world whose local and national economies are becoming globally integrated, these labor processes define and distinguish places. We will investigate three interlocking research approaches: the established segmentation approach that derives from political economy and emphasizes the uneven operation of the labor market; institutional perspectives on local, national, and international influences on labor processes; and an embryonic approach that draws from post-structural thought and emphasizes issues of identity and power.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
The course will be conducted as a graduate seminar. We will discuss assigned readings each week, and discussion will also include the work that students (and the instructor) are doing in their own research. Students and instructor will review each other's work in progress.
The instructor welcomes graduate students with backgrounds in economic geography, theoretical basics in urban or regional planning, economics, urban or state-oriented (somewhat theoretical) backgrounds in public affairs, or economic sociology.
Class assignments and grading
Weekly reading (perhaps a couple hundred pages per week) and discussion; regular progress toward a final paper; a final paper.
Preparation for and participation in weekly meetings: 20 percent Regular progress toward a final paper (through shared outlines, drafts, problem statements): 20 percent Final paper: 60 percent