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NOVA PhD Course "Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution: Renewable energy and emerging land-use conflicts "- New Deadline for Applications

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The course will take place on 5-9 August 2019, at the University of Agder in Kristiansand, Norway.
Application deadline: 21 May 2019 (NB New deadline)

NOVA course information web page

Apply here


The course is of 5 ECTS and is organised by Professor John McNeish, Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Associate Professor Mikaela Vasstrøm, University of Agder

This is the fourth course in the NOVA PhD course series Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution which is scheduled for 2016-2019. Other courses in the series included:

Course Description 2019
The course will explore environmental conflicts especially related to renewable energy development and land use conflicts in the global North and South.

Global climate challenges and the transition to low-carbon societies influence planning policy and the practice of the governance at all levels of society. Different forms of renewable energy production (bio-energy, wind, solar, hydro, etc.) and related infrastructural developments are at the core of these transitions. Renewable energy developments are increasingly generating new contestations by further transforming landscapes, land use and property relations.

In this course we aim to study the dynamics of these new green contestations. As such we will study the physical impacts of renewable energy projects and the competing discourses and practices expressed in these contexts e.g. regarding conservation, forestry and agriculture, livelihoods and ontologies, economy and recreation, private vs. commons etc. The course studies the contrasts and common experiences of renewable development in both the global North and South - and with a special focus on cases in Scandinavia and Latin America. The course will draw on a set of theoretical approaches including political ecology, science and technology studies, environmental governance and participatory planning.

PhD students will be encouraged in the course to discuss and reflect on their own empirical research through tutored groups. This creates an arena for peer-learning and the further development of academic papers under production by PhD students.

The course not only approaches renewable conflicts through different disciplinary and theoretical approaches and academic examples. The course also facilitates an arena for learning through direct interaction with stakeholders and practitioners. Other than invited speakers in the classroom, through our organization a one-day field excursion, PhD students, invited scholars, practitioners and community representatives will jointly reflect and study land use conflict resulting from renewable energy development.

The course does not seek to characterize a simple plan or model for conflict resolution. In stressing collaborative closures it rather seeks to consider different approaches to dialogue and structural changes that can create openings for collaborations. The course thus focuses on the significance and applicability of different legal and political governance alternatives including formal and informal mechanisms for collaboration, legal intervention, regulation, dialogue, participation, consultation and rapprochement – to deal with land use conflicts related to renewable energy development.

Programme Outline
A more detailed program and invited keynote lectures will be published Spring 2019

  1. Introduction to energy developments and land use conflicts in the global North and South, and new understandings of energy in modern societal development.
  2. Approaches to land use conflicts, mapping and counter mapping, governance, knowledge, dialogue and participation.
  3. Cases from Norway (Sami and Southern Norway)
  4. Applying theory in practice: one day field excursion to a local community with wind power planning conflicts
  5. Two sessions of tutored PhD group: discussion and reflections of theoretical and empirical learning in relation to PhD research
  6. Course evaluation

Preliminary programme and practicalities

Main teachers
  • John-Andrew McNeish, Professor, Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, NMBU
  • Mikaela Vasstrøm, Associate Professor, Department of global development and Planning, University of Agder

Confirmed speakers

  • Simone Abram, Professor, Department of Anthropology and Durham Energy Institute, Durham University
  • Siddharth Sareen, Department of Geography and Centre for climate and energy transformation, University of Bergen
  • Else Grete Broderstad, Professor, Centre for Sami studies, University of Tromsø
  • Joe Bryan - Associate Professor of Geography, Department of Geography, University of Colorado 
  • Laura Tolnov Clausen, Researcher, Department of Wind Energy, Danish Technical University 
  • David Phillip Rudolph, Researcher, Department of Wind Energy, Danish Technical University
  • Steven Sparkes - Head of Environment and Social Governance at Statkraft
  • Local politicians and stakeholders in a wind power development site in Southern Norway
Please find more information on the course and on how to apply here:
Published 8. May 2019 - 9:43 - Updated 8. May 2019 - 9:44