DV413 Half Unit
Environmental Problems and Development Interventions
This information is for the 2013/14 session.
Dr Timothy Forsyth CON.8.05
This course is available on the MPA in International Development, MSc in Accounting, Organisations and Institutions, MSc in Anthropology and Development, MSc in Anthropology and Development (Management), MSc in China in Comparative Perspective, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Environment and Development, MSc in Global Politics, MSc in Global Politics (Global Civil Society), MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, MSc in International Relations, MSc in International Relations (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in International Relations (Research), MSc in Population and Development, MSc in Public Policy and Administration, MSc in Regulation and MSc in Regulation (Research). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.
Please note that in case of over-subscription to this course priority will be given to students from the Department of International Development and its joint degrees (where their regulations permit). This course is capped at 60 students.
This course is for MSc students who wish to study social and political aspects of environmental change and its implications for international development. The aim is to summarize the key current debates about ‘environment and development’ from perspectives of social and political theory. The course objective is to review approaches to environment and development from the viewpoints of social and political theory and their current applications in development studies and environmental policy.
The course is structured to analyze the challenges of making well-informed environmental interventions in the face of poverty and vulnerability, and then seeking practical solutions to these dilemmas. First, 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 ‘crises,’ adaptation to population growth and scarcity; gender and environment; and vulnerability to ‘natural’ hazards. The second part of the course 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 Approaches; 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).
The course will also refer in passing to global environmental problems such as climate change and forest policy (especially in later lectures), but these themes are dealt with in more detail in the associated course, DV415: Global Environmental Governance, which may be taken in addition to this course.
15 hours of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the MT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of lectures in the ST.
Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT.
A detailed weekly reading list will be provided at the first course meeting. Students are not advised to buy a single textbook for this course but to read selectively and critically from various sources. The following books might be useful introductions.
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.
Exam (80%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (20%, 1500 words) in the LT.
Student performance results
(2009/10 - 2011/12 combined)
|Classification||% of students|
Department: International Development
Total students 2012/13: 46
Average class size 2012/13: 12
Value: Half Unit
Personal development skills
- Problem solving
- Specialist skills
Course survey results
(2010/11 - 2012/13 combined)1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score
The scores below are average responses.
Response rate: 64.2%
Reading list (Q2.1)
Course satisfied (Q2.4)