Socio-Economic Principles and Politics of Communities


Will we all end up living in a city 170km long? How would that change the way we experience the urban landscape and our local areas? 

We are all embedded in communities, but we are rarely aware of it. The global trends point toward increasing urbanisation and by 2050 more than two-thirds of the world population is expected to live in urban areas. How is each of us affected by the neighbourhood where we live in? How are our kids shaped by where they grow up in and by whom they are surrounded? On the other hand, how can citizens have a positive impact on the life quality of the communities they belong to? 

This course will provide insights into the importance of space and communities at the crossroads of three different disciplines: sociology, economics and political science. 

We will review the sociological importance of communities within the current trends of de-industrialisation, the housing crisis which is becoming more and more relevant for younger generations, and how the gender dimension is too often ignored but is always a key aspect of urban planning.  

The course wants to be highly dialectical and students' participation is fundamental. The lecture part will provide an overall introduction of the weekly topic and aims to stimulate curiosity, challenge conventions and induce creative and alternative thinking. During the live sessions, students are expected to engage with the topic, to respectfully discuss among them, and present their personal experiences and opinion.  

A list of 29 papers is provided and aims to be just a list of suggestions. You are welcome to find other sources and to move critics to the proposed readings. No reading is compulsory. 

Programme details

Courses starts: 20 Apr 2023

Week 0: Course Orientation

Week 1:  Introduction, what is political economy, why do we care, who are the actors

Week 2: Pandemics and space

No Class 11th or 18th May 2023

Week 3: Social Capital

Week 4: Neighbourhoods

Week 5: De-industrialisation and communities

Week 6: Generations and the city

Week 7: Utopia and the Right to the City

Week 8: A special focus on housing

Week 9: Gendered spaces

Week 10: Green new city


Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from the January 1st after the current full academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.


Description Costs
Course Fee £238.00
Take this course for CATS points £10.00


Dr Franco Bonomi Bezzo

Franco Bonomi Bezzo is a Postdoctoral researcher at La Statale, University of Milan, within the ERC project DESPO, working on the political and societal changes that have occurred as a consequence of European deindustrialization and a Research Fellow at the Institut national d'études démographiques (INED) in Paris. Franco research interests lie at the intersection of economic and sociology being him broadly interested in

i) intergenerational inequality;

ii) urban economic sociology;

iii) basic income models and post-work scenarios;

iv) deindustrialisation and political participation. ​

Course aims

To introduce students to different, frequently neglected, aspects of economic political sociology with respect to the role of space and communities.

Course objectives

Increased awarenness, stimulate curiosity, open discussions, challenge conventions.

Teaching methods

Ten one-hour (or more, shorter, if split) pre-recorded videos will be produced. The recording will include both canonical lectures with the support of slides, and video presentations and discussions. 

An heterogeneous reading list is provided. However, this must be considered as a suggested reading list from which students are welcome to deviate and to expand. No reading is compulsory and students are encouraged to read only what they are really interested in and to possibly not finish a paper if they realise they are not interested in it.  

Students are expected to actively engage in the one-hour live online class, to share their understanding of the readings suggested, to present new papers/books they have come across, to share their personal experience, to respectfully challenge others' opinion and to defend their owns. 

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to:

1. have understood the relevance of space and communities;

2. have increased their horizons;

3. have familiarised with the implications of space and community in different contexts.

Assessment methods

Oral participation in the discussion of each of the sessions is fundamental for the course assessment. In addition, students are expected to submit one piece of work no longer than 1,500 words. 

Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form - Declaration of Authorship form


We will close for enrolments 7 days prior to the start date to allow us to complete the course set up. We will email you at that time (7 days before the course begins) with further information and joining instructions. As always, students will want to check spam and junk folders during this period to ensure that these emails are received.

To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an application form.

Level and demands

Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)