Discourse, Politics, and Place: Critical Perspectives on Environmental Governance
- ECTS credits
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Objectives and Content
The primary aim of this course is to strengthen and expand students' understanding of global environmental issues and their implications for local development challenges. To do so, we critically engage both longstanding and emerging theoretical, conceptual, and methodological debates concerning sustainable development and environmental governance in human geography. Students will cultivate an in-depth understanding of important themes within these debates, further empowering them to independently assess and utilize key theories and concepts relevant for their respective Master thesis projects.
The course adopts a `global` perspective on sustainable development and environmental governance as processes that necessarily affect all nations - rather than simply the nations of the so-called Global South - but which are nonetheless eventually translated into concrete form within grounded local contexts. Exploring the interrelations between `global` and `local` iterations of these processes, we examine influential discourses and narratives of environmental change, assessing these in relation to a diversity of place-based geographical perspectives. Key themes include global climactic change and its mitigation; forest and biodiversity conservation; food security and sustainable agriculture; and renewable energy transitions. In short, the course leads us to both a critical and a nuanced understanding of how power relations shape - and are shaped by - encounters between `local` communities, global environmental discourses, and sustainable development institutions operating across multiple scales.
A student who has completed the course should have the following learning outcomes:
- demonstrates an advanced understanding of theoretical, conceptual, and methodological debates concerning sustainable development and environmental governance in human geography.
- independently assesses and utilizes relevant theories and concepts.
- critically evaluates narratives or explanations of environmental issues in relation to multiple perspectives and data sources.
- demonstrates enhanced capacity to formulate scholarly arguments in academic writing and support these with relevant literature, data, or other evidence.
- identifies and critically analyses multiple discourses and narratives.
- independently assesses the reliability or validity of various discourses, narratives, and forms of evidence.
- evaluates the relative strengths and limitations of distinct approaches or understandings of environmental and development problems.
- robustly substantiates individual perspectives or claims with reference to reliable data, evidence, or supporting argumentation
Level of Study
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Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course
Teaching and learning methods
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Forms of Assessment
All parts of assessment must be passed in the same semester. Grades for each part of assessment and the final grade will be published in Studentweb.
Assessment in teaching semester.
Students who have a valid document of absence or fails the exam may take the exam in the following semester.