GEOGRAPHY OF LOCAL DEVELOPMENT 1
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Students are expected:
- to gain a good knowledge of geographical approach to economic development;
- to understand the basic concepts of local development;
- to know the main models for explaining local development;
- to identify the pathways of local development; - to become aware of the problems to further local development in developing countries.
Course contents summary
Local development has became, both in Italy and in virtually all countries, the new approach to economic development. According to this approach, the economic development is associated with the progressive specialization of a local society (i.e., local producers socially embedded in a place) in the production of a specific class of goods (or services), and the related organization to produce them. Typically, local producers are small entrepreneurs joined each others by co-operative linkages. Evidence from developed countries testifies the socio-economic importance of this model of production for getting together economic competitiveness and social wellbeing. In many developing countries, co-operation between small entrepreneurs is hard to find. Thus, the task of institutions (both national and local, supported by international ones) is to formulate and to implement policies to facilitate co-operative behaviours. The module aims to develop students knowledge and understanding of the relevance of an economic-geographical perspective in the analysis of local development problems. The central focus of the module is on population/firms/institutions relationships to drive social and economic change of a place. The topics of the module are provided through a combination of theoretical and practical approach, where ideas interweave with facts. They draw lessons both from the main Italian research findings and significant experiences in developing countries (such as Mexico, Nicaragua, Brazil, India).
Topics include: 1) The theoretical foundations of the relationship between economics and geography; 2) The territorial character of local development; 3) The unit of analysis for local development; 4) The contribution of the theory of industrial district to local development; 5) The multiple paths of local development; 6) Local development initiatives in developing countries.
1. Sforzi, F. 2005, “L’interdisciplinarità praticata. L’approccio geografico allo sviluppo locale”, in M. Bertoncin e A. Pase, a cura di, Logiche territoriali e progettualità locali, Milano, FrancoAngeli, pp. 19-34.
2. Sforzi, F. 2000, “Il sistema locale come unità d’analisi integrata del territorio”, in E. Gori, E. Giovannini e N. Batic, a cura di, Verso i censimenti del 2000, Udine, Forum, pp. 185-192.
3. Istat 1997, I sistemi locali del lavoro 1991, a cura di F. Sforzi, Roma, pp. 19-26 e pp. 96-132.
4. Sforzi, F. e Lorenzini, F. 2002, “I distretti industriali”, in IPI, L’esperienza italiana dei distretti industriali, Roma, pp. 20-33.
5. Sforzi, F. 2002, I distretti industriali di fronte alla sfida della globalizzazione, “Geographicalia”, n. 41, pp. 5-18.
6. Bellandi, M. e Sforzi, F. 2001, “La molteplicità dei sentieri di sviluppo locale”, in G. Becattini, M. Bellandi, G. Dei Ottati e F. Sforzi, a cura di, Il caleidoscopio dello sviluppo locale. Trasformazioni economiche nell’Italia contemporanea, Torino, Rosenberg & Sellier, pp. 41-63.
7. UNIDO 2005, Private Sector Development, <http://www.unido.org/doc/18233>.
The module is assessed by a combination of methods, both individually and in groups. These include a) the writing of an essay of approximately 5,000 words undertaken by small groups of students (of up to four students each) and its oral presentation. The essay is based on a reading list derived from the UNIDO experience in the field of SME clusters and local economic development in developing countries; b) an individual oral examination based on the module readings.