community development major
“Community Development, Neighbourhood Management and Local Economy”
Master in Community Development (MACD)
Inter disciplinary European Master’s degree course
1. General aims of the course
Firstly, to disseminate the idea of ‘Community Development’ as a philosophical concept and as something, which can be practically applied as a means to facilitate a democratic strategy, which supports sustainable development. Secondly, to train qualified experts to be capable of implementing planned social changes in their localities in a way that requires and implies responsibility in a global context. The course participants will have a shared identification with those aims.
In order to cope with the demands and achieve the goals of a course like this, those teaching on it, and indeed the students on the course too, will have to be of a critical disposition and be able to reflect closely on what they are doing and how they are doing it. Moreover, they will be capable of consciously choosing those theoretical and methodical approaches needed for that social, ecological and economical development required by a community, which is to be democratically organised and truly participatory.
2. Theoretical Position
The community’s development has to be democratic. This in turn means that civil society has to be strengthened in a way that ensures it functions as an independent (a “third sector”) political and cultural entity, as an entity that corrects and complements those deficiencies and failures that are invariably to be found in state structures and the market economy. The main prerequisites for a sustainable development which has implications both locally and globally is a cultivation of those social-cultural and social-economical factors that are already there and, more especially, integrating those individuals and groups who are suffering from deprivation and lack of opportunities, while forming the ecological and social foundations that facilitate the needs of the community as a whole.
In line with the research that we have carried out the factors for local and regional development that we might promote would include providing those who are directly affected by any changes with the relevant expertise and get them involved in the process that is taking place. The willingness to adopt the attitude required to put these factors into practice has to be supported by a particular ethical approach to research along with selecting a combination of methods, which initiate and accompany such a democratic development.