Course code: PNS0212
This course is geared towards students of rural development studies, landscape planning/architecture, human geography, anthropology, sociology, environmental/agrarian history and other social sciences.
The purpose of the course is to undertake a close and critical reading of the foundational book entitled: Uneven Development: Nature, Capital, and the Production of Space by Neil Smith, in order to understand:
- the roots and importance of the theory of uneven development in Marxian political economy and in this historical development of capitalism more generally;
- the differences and connections between Smith’s theory and other theories of uneven development, such as dependency theory, World Systems theory, and older Marxist variants of the “theory of combined and unequal development”;
- the reasons for and value of placing a theory of the production of nature at the center of the theory of uneven development;
- the importance of a theory of the production of space to the theory of uneven development;
- the degree to which this theory of uneven development can – and cannot – assist to understand differences and similarities in trajectories of development in the Global South and the Global North;
- the degree to which theories of uneven development can – and cannot – assist to understand differences and interrelationships between urban and rural processes of development.
A central concern of the course will be examining what uneven development looks like on the ground – that is, how it is expressed and mediated in and through the geographical landscape. We will also seek to understand how the dynamics of uneven development have played out historically.