Environment and sustainable development

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This course is for master students who wish to study social and political aspects of environmental change and its implications for international development. The aim is to summarise the key current debates about ‘environment and development’ from perspectives of social and political theory with special reference to institutional theory, livelihoods, and inclusive policy interventions. The course is structured to analyse the challenges of making well-informed environmental interventions in the face of poverty and vulnerability, and then seeking practical solutions to these dilemmas.To begin with, the course considers the nature of environmental problems within a ‘development’ context, and what this means for environmental science and norms as applied in developing countries. Themes include assessing environmental science and expertise in development contexts, adaptation to population growth and resource scarcity; gender and environment; and vulnerability to ‘natural’ hazards. As the course progresses, it considers debates about policy interventions such as common property regime theory; theories of the state and environment (including resistance and social movements); community-based natural resource management and Sustainable Livelihoods; adaptation to climate change; forests; and urban environmental policy (these latter themes involve debates on multi-level, multi-actor governance involving the connections of local development and global environmental policy).

Topics: 
  • Adams, W.M. 2009 Green Development: environment and sustainability in a developing world. 3rd ed. London: Routledge.
  • Forsyth, T. 2003. Critical Political Ecology: the politics of environmental science, London, Routledge.
  • Jones, S. and Carswell, G. 2004. The Earthscan reader in environment, development and rural livelihoods. London ; Sterling, VA : Earthscan.
  • Neumann, R. 2005. Making Political Ecology, London: Hodder Arnold.
  • Robbins, P. Political ecology: a critical introduction, Blackwell.
  • Ostrom, E., Stern P.C., Diet, T., Dulsak, N. and Stonich, S. (eds.) 2002 The Drama of the Commons: Understanding Common Pool Resource Management. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
  • L Schipper and I Burton (eds) The Earthscan Reader on Adaptation to Climate Change, Earthscan, 2008.
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