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New Municipalism: The Local as a Place for Social Change

Enrollment is Closed

The Universidad Abierta de Recoleta, together with the Transnational Institute (TNI) present the International Diploma on Transformative Local Governments. This educational program looks to address, from different points of view, the ground that municipalism has gained in the XXI century, using transformative local governments as examples, as well as the link and importance of organized citizenship as an active agent of change.

The Diploma is online, and consists of four courses, each 5 weeks long, totaling 120 hours of classes. The details are as follows:



International Diploma on Transformative Local Governments

Course 1

Course 2

Course 3

Course 4

New municipalism: local politics as a place for social change 

Transformative cities: learning from real utopias

Local governments and public policies: theory, methods and strategies

From social movements to the radical democratization of municipalities

The passing of each course and the Diploma will be certified by the institutions that have come together to offer the program.

In order to receive the certificate, students must pass at least three of the four courses that comprise the Diploma.

This Diploma, as well as all of the Universidad Abierta de Recoleta’s educational activities is free of charge. p>

So, what is this Diploma’s first course New Municipalism: Local Politics as a Place for Social Change about?

Municipalism is fundamental when we ask ourselves about the strategic role that local governments play in social transformation. While local level elections have become more important in the last years, discussion around municipalism is not new, and we can find examples and different experiences from all over the world.

The challenges faced in the XXI century have put at the forefront new subjects, such as how to deal with the climate crisis on a local level, what it means to carry out a feminist municipal project, and how to have a framework for action that includes our first nations.

This online course is aimed at those who work in Chilean and foreign municipalities, elected officials on a local level (such as, councilpersons, mayors, governors), members of political parties or collectives, and local community leaders and activists interested in the subject. Women and members of our first nations are particularly encouraged.

If you would like to take this course, you must be at least 15 years of age, have an appetite for learning, and enroll at The International Diploma on Transformative Local Governments taught by the UAR and TNI seeks to democratize knowledge and encourages knowledge for transformation.

General Learning Outcomes:

Students will study the history and the different trends regarding municipalism, and how municipalist values and practices have contributed towards the well-being of cities and communities.

Specific Learning Outcomes:

1- Critically analyze a general framework of references and concepts about the history and general values regarding municipalism.

2- Reflect on what is municipalism, its importance and, municipalist networks.

3- Address the ties between ecological transition, feminization on a local level and feminist municipalities.

4- Relate concepts regarding municipalism, first nations and migratory movements, based on the notions of common and public goods, and the right to the city.

5- Complete the course’s academic (recap and final project) and administrative (certification) processes.

Course Staff Image #1

Paulina Cabrera

Paulina is an activist and researcher on subjects such as democracy, and the right to the city. She has a Master’s in Political Analysis and Institutional Assessment from the Universidad de Barcelona and a Master’s in Urban and Metropolitan Studies from the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. She collaborates with Ciudad Constituyente, the European Municipalist Network and Commons Polis.

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Laura Roth

Laura is an Argentine born researcher and activist. Former member of Barcelona en Comú, lives in the Basque country and works as a researcher and consultant on subjects such as municipalism, feminism, participative democracy and political culture. She has spoken in seminars in more than 10 countries and writes for, ROAR Magazine and Open Democracy. One of her most recent publications is the book Democratic Cities (Icaria) and the report Feminize Politics Now! (Rosa Luxemburg Foundation), available in English, German, Serbo-Croatian, and soon to be published in Spanish and French.

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Emilio Santiago Muiño

Emilio has a PhD in Social Anthropology and is an ecosocial activist. He is Head Scientist of the Anthropology Department at the Spanish National Research Council. Between 2016 and 2019 he was the Technical Director for the Environment in the city of Móstoles, driving forward the Móstoles Transita 2030 project. In 2020 he was the technical advisor on ecological issues for Más Madrid and Más País in the Madrid Assembly/Congress of Deputies. And author of the books Mapless Routes (Rutas sin mapa – Winner of the Ensayo Catarata prize, 2015) and What to do in case of fire? A manifest for a Green New Deal, co-authored with Héctor Tejero.

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Caren Tepp

Caren is a member and founding president of the political party Ciudad Futura and councilperson since 2015. She presides the group of councilpersons for the party in the Municipal Council of the City of Rosario, Argentina, and creator of the Feminisms and Dissidences Commission, which she presided from 2019 to 2021.

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Sam Cossar

Sam is Coordinator of the International Program for Economic Justice and Resistance to Neoliberalism. Works with Friends of the Earth, Australia. Before joining Friends of the Earth International, he worked in environmental and social justice movements for more than a decade, as union organizer, trainer in citizen media, and as an activist with the Australian Student Environment Network. He was a member of the Take the Square collective, working with the Indignados y Occupy movements. He recently worked on the environmental justice campaign with Friends of Earth, Australia.

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Nathaly Campusano

Nathaly was born and raised in Cerro Placeres, in Valparaíso, Chile. She is the Regional Councilperson for the Frente Amplio party for Valparaíso, Casablanca and Juan Fernández. She was re-elected for the period 2022-2026, obtaining the provincial majority vote. She is the director of the Fundación Territorios Colectivos and creator of the project "Ciudades con Lentes de Mujer" (Cities Through the Lense of a Woman).

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Ana Méndez

Ana is an urban architect and teacher, and has a Master’s in Urban Studies and Social Research, with broad experience in militant research-action. She has participated in workshops and presentations in a wide variety of places for the exchange of knowledge, institutional and social, and has written articles on urban transformation, public spaces, and the (re)production of commons. She is a member of the municipalist platform Ahora Madrid (Madrid Now) and consultant to the Madrid City Council, and coordinator of the European Municipalist Network. She is currently writing her doctoral thesis “Becoming-Common of the Public” in the United Kingdom and participates in the Communal Actions Office.

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Edurne Bagué

Edurne has a PhD in Social Anthropology, specializing in Water, Society and Culture for the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Sociales en Antropología Social (CIESAS, México). Her doctoral thesis analyzed the remunicipalization of water, using Terrassa as a case study. Her work is focused around three subjects: social models, management and regulation of water, from public policy to the impact of management models in local populations; analysis of institutions and water as a commons, and new government practices around water and services; and the relationship between democracy, commons and sustainability in the framework of an ecosocial transition. She collaborates with the UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Human Development of the Universidad de Girona, and has participated in OAT since its inception.

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Raúl Romero

Raúl has a degree in Sociology from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, where he also studies a Master’s (intern) in Latin American Studies. Currently he is Technical-Academic at the Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales of the UNAM and Academic Secretary of the site Conceptos y Fenómenos Fundamentales de Nuestro Tiempo (Concepts and Fundamental Phenomenon of our Times -, coordinated by Dr. Pablo González Casanova. He frequently writes for the Mexican newspaper La Jornada and has published different essays about the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, some of which have been translated into different languages. His subjects of interest are anticapitalism, social and environmental resistance movements, emancipatory processes, autonomies and criminal economies.

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David Hamou

David has a degree in Sociology from the École Normale Supérieure, Cachan, France. At the moment XXXX is working for a doctorate in Sociology at the Université Paris Nanterre, studying the new public-commons synergies between municipalism and social movements in Barcelona, drawn from an ethnography by the Platform for People Affected by Mortgages. XXXX collaborates with the Economic, Social,Cultural and Environmental Rights Observatory (Observatori DESC) and is a member of the Communal Action Office. XXXX coordinated, with Ana Méndez de Andés and Marco Aparicio, the book “Urban Commons Codes. Tools for the common future of cities” (Icaria, 2020).


Course Staff Image #1

Erick Palomares Rodríguez

Research Associate for the Transformative Cities Award and the Atlas of Utopias, Transnational Institute (TNI), Amsterdam. He is the Academic Coordinator of the International Diploma on Transformative Local Governments UAR-TNI. He has a PhD in Government and Public Administration, Complutense University, Madrid, and Master in Development, Innovation and Change, University of Bologna, Italy. He is currently visiting researcher at the Centre for Latin American Studies, University of Copenhagen.

The Universidad Abierta de Recoleta’s digital courses emphasize the building of knowledge, in order to work towards generating social change. As a methodological resource, these courses promote putting into action content shared by teachers, so students can become agents of change in their communities.

The course New Municipalism: Local Politics as a Place for Social Change is comprised of five (5) weeks of classes.

WEEK 1 is particularly important, as it introduces the course’s digital platform and offers a general overview of the course, plus the subject matter, through a live online class, during which the teachers and an expert can answer any questions the students might have about the study program. In the “Program” section you will find the date, time and link to this class that will be streamed via YouTube. Reading and viewing material to introduce you to the subject will also be shared.

From WEEKS 2 to 4 one class will be displayed on a weekly basis. These classes are designed to problematize the subject matter in order to show its relevance. This is achieved through case study analysis, reading, viewing material, forums, discussion, the application of what has been learned in a progress report, that works towards the final project, plus an automated formative assessment.

WEEK 5, the final week,consists of a recap video by the teachers, a forum where students are invited to discuss what they consider important, the final survey, and guidelines and the deadline of the final project.

Course reading material will be available in PDF, so students can download the material and read it offline. All audiovisual material will be available on the UAR educational platform, and YouTube, although it is possible that some material will be found on platforms such as Vimeo.

In short, this, as all UAR digital courses, is the result of a thought process, pedagogical activities and technology that ensure that students learn, through the effective flow of material and activities towards that end.

Therefore, learning from the course depends on YOUR DEDICATION, CONSISTENCY AND PARTICIPATION.

The teachers, as well as the UAR professional team, will be with you every step of the way to make sure you travel smoothly through this learning process.

Week 1

Weeks 2 to 4

Week 5

Presentation and introduction to the course subject, the digital platform and course participants.

Development of the course’s specific goals and content.

Recap and final project.


The corresponding material will be made available every Thursday, so students will not be overwhelmed on weekends.

The course program is the following:




 Learning resources and activities


 Thursday May 26th

What is municipalism? Its history and values 

  • The history of municipalism on a global level.
  • Municipal values and practices. 
  • Present municipalist experiences.

Audiovisual welcome to the course: 

    • This is how the platform works.
    • How coexist in the course: Pluriversity Teaching Action Policy 
    • Assessments.
    • Passing and certification.

Graphic and written material to introduce you to the learning process. 

Presentation, expectations and debate forum.

Procedural and communicational aspects of the course. 

Virtual Library: Presentation and use.

This week’s essential reading. 

Progress report 1 of the final project.

Live online streaming class: 

    • Tuesday, May 3rd:
        • 16:00 PM (Chile) 
        • 19:00 PM (UTC)
    • Synchronous class, questions for the teacher.


Thursday, June 2nd 

Municipalism and municipalist networks 

  • Theoretical currents. 
  • Municipal experiences throughout history.
  • Collaborative international networks. 


Weekly topics and subtopics.

Case study, testimonial, quote or image.

A problematizing question for the debate forum

Weekly written and audiovisual material. 

Formative assessment to measure what’s been learned based on the weekly course content. 

Written text and progress report on the final project.

Additional written and audiovisual material based on the weekly course content.


Thursday, June 9th

The ecological transition, the feminizations of politics on a local level and feminist municipalities

  • Municipalities, climate crisis and the ecological transition.
  • Women, local politics, and feminist municipalities. 
  • The challenges of ecofeminism.


 Thursday, June 16th

Municipalism and public common goods and first nations. 

  • The challenges of an intercultural local government.
  • Local Governments and migratory movements. 
  • General definitions: municipalism, common public goods. 


Thursday, June 23rd

We finish, just to begin again

  • Recap of the subjects.
  • Guidelines for the final project

Course content recap and guidelines for the final project, forum and debate. 

Final survey. 

Final project deadline.

Certification instructions and guidelines. 



The Pluriversity Teaching Action Policy, offers guidelines, norms and details to ensure that all those who participate in the UAR’s pluriversity teaching activities, do so in a place that is democratic, inclusive, respectful of your privacy and open to dialogue, aimed at building a true community geared towards transformative learning.

For us, it is just as important that you enroll in this course, as it is that you carefully read its goals, content and programs, and our Policy.

If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected]

Enrolling in this course means that you have read and agree with its content, and the conduct that invites for a positive coexistence among all those participating Pluriversity Teaching Action Policyin the UAR’s digital course. .

To access and read our Política Pluriversitaria de Acción Docente, click here VÍNCULO

This course includes formative and final assessments.

Each week includes an automated formative assessment. This means that once answered, you will immediately know the result, plus the correct answers explained, to serve as feedback in your learning process.

The final assessment consists of two parts: the design of a project and a co-assessment.Both activities are mandatory for those who want to receive the certification for the course.

The final project consists of, using what was learned during the course, designing a concrete action that will generate significant change in the community where you live, therefore making a positive impact in the lives of those around you. For the final project, each week you will have the opportunity to present a progress report.

The co-assessment is whereby you will assess two of your classmates’ projects, which you will receive randomly, filling out an assessment form that will be sent to you.

Each week you will have access to the corresponding guidelines, instructions, deadlines, and other contact information.

Regarding certification, this document will be issued by the institutions that have jointly collaborated in the design and production of the course. Upon passing this course co-certification will be granted by the following institutions:

  • Universidad Abierta de Recoleta
  • Transnational Institute (TNI)
  • This digital course, as with all of the Universidad Abierta de Recoleta’s teaching activities, is efree of charge for its students.

    If you would like to register, and take part of the course, you must be 15 years of age or older , and, of course, want to learn.

    There are no limits to the number of students, so feel free to register in our educational platform UAR Digital.