EDS330 Political Ecology

Credits (ECTS):10

Course responsible:Tor-Arve Benjaminsen

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:Lectures (30 hours), group seminars (10 hours), and reading/writing (210 hours); 250 hours student work in all.

Teaching and exam period:This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel, .

About this course

Political ecology originated in the 1970s, but its real expansion occurred in the 1980s and 90s. Today, political ecology is a leading source of innovative research on issues linked to poverty and the environment. The framework of the analysis in political ecology is centred on the idea of a politicised environment. It explores the main actors involved in this management and their interests, aims, norms and narratives. This again leads into an investigation of power and power relations in environmental management. Lectures and discussions will deal with topics such as the the theoretical roots and history of political ecology, discourse and narrative analysis, global environmental change, land reform, and community-based conservation and its critique.

Learning outcome

The chief aim of this course is to strengthen the students´ interdisciplinary understanding by exposing the students to the different theoretical trends in the emerging field of political ecology and to empirical studies on resource and environmental management that are based on political ecological approaches. The course will investigate the links between local, national, and global levels of environmental management. It will further seek to develop students' capacity for critical thinking.
  • Two-hour lectures twice a week. In addition, there will be some seminars led by students. It is expected that students read 1000 pages approx of relevant literature about the course. The students should actively participate in the lectures and be able to link the knowledge to practical cases.
  • The responsible teacher is available for support and additional explanations during office hours.
  • BSc degree
  • An oral exam that counts for 100% of the letter grade. In addition, to pass the course, student must pass each of the three obligatory activities: presentation of the group work, 80% attendance and two written essays.

  • An external examiner will read a sample of the term papers to check the grading done by the teacher. The examiner will also participate in the oral exam.
  • All students must participate in a presentation of a group assignment at the group seminars. Students must attend at least 80% of the seminars. In addition, there will be two obligatory essays which students will receive feedback on.
  • The target group for this course is students of environmental sciences who are interested in policy issues as well as students of development studies interested in environmental issues.
  • There will totally be approximately 30 hours of lectures. In addition, there will be 10 hours group seminars.
  • M-IES and M-DS.
  • Relevant Bachelor degree or equivalent