Critical Debates in Environment and Development (928AF)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

The aim of this module is to gain familiarity with cutting edge debates linking environment and development. A subsidiary aim is to develop research skills and in particular to develop skills in establishing analytical frameworks and the use of evidence. You should think critically about cutting edge topics. Current research has questioned much of the mainstream analysis of environmental problems and their social causes that now informs development policy and practice. This research emerges from environmental history, anthropology, remote-sensing, geography and non-equilibrium ecology, and from methods reflecting different social values (eg taking a pro-poor or politically marginalised perspective). It forces us to expose relations between power, environmental knowledge and environmental policy. This module considers and evaluates these challenges. We explore their significance for understanding the relationship between poverty, environmental science and policy, and consider how these relations are changing given the globalisation of environmental science and policy. 

Topics vary each year as different issues arise. Issues addressed by the module are currently: forest policy and REDD+; biofuels and the land grabs; neoliberal approaches and ecosystem services; conflict and environmental change; coastal hazards and pollution; biotechnology and food security; 9 billion people and the resource crunch; and low carbon technology.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 66 hours of contact time and about 234 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

Courses

This module is offered on the following courses: