DV413 Half Unit
Environmental Problems and Development Interventions
This information is for the 2023/24 session.
Prof Timothy Forsyth CON.8.05
This course is available on the MSc in Accounting, Organisations and Institutions, MSc in Anthropology and Development, MSc in China in Comparative Perspective, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Management (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Economic Policy for International Development, MSc in Environment and Development, MSc in Health and International Development, MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, MSc in International Relations (Research), MSc in Political Economy of Late Development, MSc in Political Science (Global Politics), MSc in Public Administration and Government (LSE and Peking University), MSc in Public Policy and Administration, MSc in Regulation and MSc in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.
Also available to students taking MSc International Relations or MSc International Political Economy as part of the LSE-Sciences Po Double Degree in Affairés Internationales programme.
Students will be allocated places to courses with priority to ID and joint-degree students. If there are more ID and joint-degree students than the course can accommodate, these spots will be allocated randomly.
Non-ID/Joint Degree students will be allocated to spare places by random selection with the preference given first to those degrees where the regulations permit this option. There will be limited avaialbility for those outside the ID department.
This course is capped at 45 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 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. The course first 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 concerning adaptation to population growth, resource scarcity, deforestation, desertification, vulnerability to ‘natural’ disasters, and risks associated with climate change, including questions of gender and environment. 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 climate change policy). The main theoretical content of the course is institutional theory, drawing on both rational choice, but also cultural, historical, and political approaches to institutions.
This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars in the Autumn Term. Seminars will be at or upwards of 45 minutes duration and lectures will be at or above 60 minutes duration. There will also be a revision session in the Winter Term.
Student on this course will have a reading week in Week 6.
Students will have the opportunity to produce 1 essay in AT
A detailed weekly reading list will be provided via Moodle. 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. 2019. Green Development: environment and sustainability in a developing world. 4th edition. London: Routledge.
Forsyth, T. 2003. Critical Political Ecology: the politics of environmental science, London, Routledge
Kohler, P. (2019) Science Advice and Global Environmental Governance: Expert Institutions and the Implementation of International Environmental Treaties, London and New York: Anthem Press.
Neumann, R. 2005. Making Political Ecology, London: Hodder Arnold.
Nightingale, A. (ed) 2019. Environment and Sustainability in a Globalizing World, London: Routledge.
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) (2008) The Earthscan Reader on Adaptation to Climate Change, London: Earthscan.
Take-home assessment (100%) in January.
(2 questions of 2000 words each)
Student performance results
(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)
|Classification||% of students|
Department: International Development
Total students 2022/23: 45
Average class size 2022/23: 15
Controlled access 2022/23: Yes
Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (MT)
Value: Half Unit
Course selection videos
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Personal development skills
- Problem solving
- Specialist skills