Environment, Society and Development

Course content

This course teaches state-of the art research within the field environment, society, and development with a specific focus on understanding theoretical approaches to development geography and coupled human-environment systems in the Global South. The course provides the theoretical and historical foundations for understanding contemporary sustainability agendas, including approaches to sustainable development.

The content of the course is taught within two themes:

Theme one on development geography focuses on two topics: 1) Urbanization, modernization and development that have been entwined concepts of development studies and development geography, since the early days of these scholarships. Seminars will outline and discuss how contemporary urban scholars are theorizing and exploring urbanization in the global south. 2) The so-called ‘Agrarian Question’ that deals with the socio-economic differentiation of the peasantry and the emergence of capitalist farmers. For decades, it has been a key issue in development studies to examine barriers and drivers for these processes. Seminars will discuss the concept and elaborate its use and alternative approaches.

Theme two focuses on the dynamics of coupled human–environmental systems and the multiple conceptual models that have been proposed to understand this complex relationship. These include cultural, human and political ecology, land use intensification, land system science, sustainability science, resilience and vulnerability approaches. All of these have attempted to include environmental and social factors and feedbacks at different levels of spatial and temporal scales as well as identifying driving forces of change. Seminars will discuss approaches that relate to interactions between the human and environmental spheres.

Education

MSc Programme in Environment and Development
MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics
MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics with a minor subject

Learning outcome

Knowledge

  • Theoretical background for development geography, including modernization theory, dependency theory, and post-development critique.

  • Theoretical approaches to human-environment interactions, including human and political ecology, sustainability, land-use intensification, carrying capacity, and resilience.

Skills

  • read and analyze theoretical literature

  • apply, evaluate and analyze methods, theories and data

  • use scientific definitions and terms

  • give short, concise and well-illustrated oral presentations on the basis of scientific papers

  • write short, concise reports aimed at professional peers

Competences

  • identify and apply theoretical approaches to solving complex geographical problems in development geography and human-environment interactions

  • reflect on own geographical skills in relation to other disciplines

The form of teaching is theory exercises combined with ad hoc lectures. For the teaching plan, please see Absalon.

Please see Absalon course page.

BSc programme in Geography and Geoinformatics or equivalent is recommended.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Oral
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, Ongoing preparation throughout the course
Oral examination, 20 minutes
The written assignment is prepared during the course and must be handed in prior to the exam week. The oral exam uses the written assignment as its point of departure. It includes the titles listed in the officially approved reading list. A combined grade is given after the oral exam.
Aid
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

See learning outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 171
  • Theory exercises
  • 35
  • English
  • 206