IDC520 Spring 2012
Planning for Uncertainty and Risk
Prof. Cuz Potter
Division of International Studies
Course: Planning for Uncertainty and Risk
Course Number: IDC520 Lecture: Wednesdays 2:00-4:45pm Location: 115 International Studies Hall
Every action and every decision incorporates risk and uncertainty. Thus, the formulation of plans, programs, and policies ideally anticipate and address risk and uncertainty. This course serves three primary purposes. First, it introduces and interrogates risk, uncertainty, and related concepts. Second, it compares and contrasts technocratic and democratic approaches to managing risk and uncertainty. Third, the course explores the ways in which risk shapes society and society in turn shapes risk. Concrete examples will be drawn from a variety of fields.
By the end of this course, students will be knowledgeable on:
- Basic quantitative and qualitative procedures for determining risk.
- Various theoretical approaches to conceptualizing risk.
- The central tenets and techniques involved in communicative planning/deliberative democracy.
- Great consideration has been given to what readings are assigned. As such, you are expected to have completed all the readings assigned prior to our class meetings. Do not expect that you can complete the readings assigned in one night simply because there are only two chapters or a few articles to read. Most readings are dense and will take time to get through.
- A one-page Reaction Paper (RP) is due electronically by 9am TUESDAY morning each week for 10 out of the 13 weeks for which there are readings. This allows you to choose which weeks to write a reflection paper. The papers will not be graded with a letter grade, but will be allocated from zero to three points depending on how actively your paper engages the material. The paper should usually be 350-500 words (about one page single-spaced). These brief papers are intended to facilitate class discussion in seminar. You can use the Reaction Paper (RP) to ask for clarification about any aspect of the readings you did not fully understand and/or to express an opinion about one or more of the readings. In general, I would advise you to focus the RP on only one of the readings assigned for each week. RPs should be clearly written, spell-checked, and grammatically correct.
- Appended to your RPs should be three possible discussion questions for the class.
- In addition to writing your own RP, you are expected to read and reflect on those of all other seminar participants prior to our class meeting. This will enable you to think about your classmates' reactions to the readings in advance of our collective discussion.
- Each week two or three students will hold primary responsibility for coordinating class discussion. Depending on the number of students, this responsibility may fall upon each individual more than once.
- Class attendance is mandatory. Your grade for class attendance will be a simple percentage of the number of classes attended between March 14 and June 13 divided by 13. Beyond this, class participation is strongly encouraged. I would grade on the basis of participation, but I do not wish to penalize students who are naturally reticent. However, you should expect to have your opinions solicited if you do not offer them freely...and nobody enjoys that.
- Three individual research papers will be required. Questions will be assigned during the course of the semester. These papers must explicitly draw on the assigned readings and class discussions. Each paper must be 750-1,250 words long (not including cover pages and bibliographies). Late papers will lose ten points (one letter grade) per day.
- You will also be responsible for editing one of your colleagues' papers during the middle of the semester.
- There will no examinations.
Plagiarism is unacceptable. If plagiarism is detected, you will receive a zero for the given assignment. Please note that plagiarism is much broader than many students realize. You are encouraged to look at this excellent summary of plagiarism from Indiana University (http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/plagiarism.shtml), and you will be held to its standards.
The following books are available through Kyobo Books or 공문화사. They will also be on reserve at the central library (in both Korean and English if available).
- Ulrich Beck. Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. Sage Publications Ltd., Thousand Oaks, 1992.
- Mary Douglas and Aaron Wildavsky. Risk and Culture: An Essay on the Selection of Technological and Environmental Dangers. University of California Press, Berkeley, 1983.
- Frank Fischer. Citizens, Experts, and the Environment: The Politics of Local Knowledge. Duke University Press, Durham, NC, 2000.
- John Forester. Planning in the face of power. University of California Press, Berkeley, 1989.
- Charles Yoe. Primer on Risk Analysis: Decision Making under Uncertainty. CRC Press, New York, 2012.
All other materials will be available electronically through the class website.
You may also want to get a copy of the following book, which I have used to structure much of the course.
- Deborah Lupton. Risk. Key Ideas. Routledge, New York, 1999.
Module 1: Technical approaches to risk and uncertainty
Week 1 (March 7): Introduction
- Yoe, chapters 1 and 2.
Week 2 (March 14):Risk analysis
- Yoe, chapters 3.
Week 3 (March 21): Interrogating the technical approach
- Herbert Marcuse. Negations: Essays in Critical Theory, chapter "Industrialization and capitalism in the work of Max Weber", pages 151–170. May Fly Books, London, 2009. First published by Allen Lane, Penguin Press, 1968.
- Jürgen Habermas. Toward a rational society: Student protest, science, and politics, chapter "Technology and Science as “Ideology”, pages 81–122. Beacon Press, Boston, 1970.
Module 2: Culture and risk
Week 4 (March 28): Culture and risk I
- Douglas and Wildavsky, introduction and chapters 1 through 5.
Week 5 (April 4): Culture and risk II
- Douglas and Wildavsky, chapters 6 through 9 and conclusion.
Week 6 (April 11): No class. (Essay 1 due.)
Module 3: The risk society
Week 7 (April 18): Risk society
- Beck, part 1.
Week 8 (April 25--Exam week): No class
Module 4: Governmentality and risk
Week 9 (May 2): Governmentality
- Michel Foucault. Governmentality. In Graham Burchell, Colin Gordon, and Peter Miller, editors, The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality, pages 87–104. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1991.
- François Ewald. Insurance and risk. In Graham Burchell, Colin Gordon, and Peter Miller, editors, The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality, pages 197–210. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1991.
Module 5: Deliberative democracy
Week 10 (May 9): Planning in the Face of Power I (Essay 2 due.)
- Forester, chapters 1--4.
Week 11 (May 16): Planning in the Face of Power II (Edits due.)
- Forester, chapters 5--8.
Week 12 (May 23): Critiques of deliberative democracy (Final draft of essay 2 due.)
- Steven Lukes. Power: A Radical View. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, second edition, 2005. First edition 1974, chapter 1.
- Iris Marion Young. Activist challenges to deliberative democracy. Political Theory, 29(5):670–690, 2001.
- Mark Purcell. Resisting neoliberalization: Communicative planning or counter-hegemonic movements? Planning Theory, 8(2):140–165, 2009.
Week 13 (May 30): Citizens, Experts, and the Environment I
- Fischer, chapters 1 to 5.
Week 14 (June 6): No class. 현충일/Memorial Day.
Week 15 (June 13): Citizens, Experts, and the Environment II
- Fischer, chapters 7 to 10.
Week 16 (June 20): No class. (Essay 3 due.)