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Citizenship Culture: Art, Urban Governance and Public Participation

Semester and Year FA 2015
Course Number ELEC-GG2840
Section 001
Instructor Antanas Mockus
Days W
Time 3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Units 2
Level G


This 2-unit course meets the first seven weeks only. Registration is by permission of the instructor. To request permission, send a short note to explaining your interest in and previous experience with the themes of the course. In the note, indicate which of the authors listed in the course description, if any, you have already studied. Please allow 2-3 weeks for a decision.


In January 1995, Antanas Mockus became Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia. Over two non-consecutive terms of three years each, he assumed the challenge of governing a city in crisis, disrupted by chaos, corruption, and violence. He did so by fostering a cultural transformation through attention to pedagogy, public policy, and art—an approach to governing that he calls “Citizenship Culture.” This course examines theoretical, governmental, and public discussions around individual behaviors that have a collective impact—both desirable (like saving water or paying voluntary taxes) and harmful (law-breaking, tax evasion, and intolerance). During the course, students at NYU will work on collaborative projects with graduate students in Vilnius, Lithuania, and Bogota, Colombia. We will begin by reviewing the case of Bogotá. We then use readings on politics and public policy to generate reflections on the relationship between social structure, civic culture, and individual decision-making. Course material may include readings by Jürgen Habermas, Basil Bernstein, John Elster, Doris Sommer, Raymond Fisman and Edward Miguel.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Graduate Electives (ELEC-GG)