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Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution - Framework for Analysis and Intervention. THEME: GREEN ENERGY: GLOBAL POTENTIAL - LOCAL CHALLENGE. Cases in Denmark and Kenya

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NOVA PhD course of 5 ECTS, offered by Associate Professor Jens Emborg, University of Copenhagen - Faculty of Science.
Course dates and location: 28 Aug. - 1 Sept. 2017 in Roskilde, Denmark.

This is the second course in the NOVA PhD course series "Environmental collaboration and conflict resolution" which is scheduled for 2016-2019. Complete list of courses in the series:

Course Description
The course series addresses natural resource conflicts which may include nature resource, nature conservation, or land use conflicts in general. In addition to theoretical and methodological approaches each course presents a real-world case of conflict.

The vast global potentials of green energy is currently challenged by resistance and conflicts at local level. Across the World large-scale green energy projects – such as wind-power, hydro-power, solar energy or geo-thermal plants – are met with local protest and severe conflicts. Such conflicts will be analyzed and discussed in a cross-cultural context by use of a holistic unifying framework. Green energy conflict cases from Denmark and Kenya – two world-leading nations of green energy – will be used to illustrate the challenge and create a red thread through the course.

The aim of this PhD-course is to give an introduction to analysis and understanding of environmental conflicts and the possibilities to resolve them through collaborative management, participatory interventions and mediation. The course provides student with theory and competencies for comprehensive analysis and understanding of environmental conflicts. Students will explore and discuss the potentials to resolve environmental conflicts through collaborative management, participatory interventions and mediation. The course is both academic and practice-oriented, with opportunity for students to connect theory and tools to own case and research.

Target PhD students
The course is relevant for PhD students from various fields - including natural sciences, engineering, geography, social/political sciences and e.g. anthropology. If your research or case somehow touches on environmental conflict issues or green energy dilemmas – this course may be highly relevant for you? Even though, we particularly focus on green energy challenges the course is equally relevant for other kinds of environmental conflicts, e.g. related to nature conservation, land-use, forestry, recreation, extractive industries or climate change adaption. The course is cross-cultural and thus equally relevant for PhD-students working in a European, African, Asian or American context. A very mixed group of students in terms of research focus and backgrounds will only stimulate the learning, discussion and exchange of ideas about how to effectively deal with environmental conflicts, public policy and democratic dilemmas. 

The courses combine theoretical lectures, field excursions and PhD-paper discussion groups to create an interactive learning environment. Theoretical concepts are discussed in relation to the individual research projects of each PhD student.

Each of the four courses present a theoretical framework for exploring and analysing environmental conflicts. The first and second course focus on collaborative theory, conflict mediation, negotiation, and dynamics in conflict resolution The third course will develop the perspective of deliberative democracy and commons in conflictual nature management. The fourth course will consider barriers for collaboration by considering aspects of political ecology and knowledge generation in conflictual situations.

Programme Outline

  1. Introduction to environmental conflicts
  2. Theoretical framework - 6-8 lectures
  3. PhD student - paper working groups tutored by one lecturer (3-4 hours)
  4. Applying theory in practice: one day - Field excursion
  5. Course evaluation & information on next course

Pre-/Post-Campus Assignments
Pre-course reading materials will be provided. The students will submit a one-page presentation of their own research describing how it relates to environmental conflict. Each PhD student will during/after the course write a short paper (max 3000 words).

Learning Outcomes
The students will learn to:

  1. Explore and analyze environmental conflicts
  2. Understand different types of collaboration and their precondition
  3. Understand the principles of meditated negotiation as a conflict resolution strategy and participate effectively in collaborative multi-party processes.
  4. Analyse barriers and potentials for collaboration and deliberation
  5. Analyse how socio-economic aspects and knowledge influence management conditions and decision making structures

Evaluation Elements
Pass/fail based on the post-course writing tasks and active parricipation and by participation during the course.

Pedagogical Approach
The courses provide different theoretical frameworks examplified in real-world contexts, and time to reflect on own PhD project. This generates a more general capacity to analyze and address environmental conflicts.

Estimated Workload

  • 25 hours lectures
  • 50 hours preparation
  • 7 hours colloquia
  • 8 hours excursion
  • 60 hours project work - adaption to own PhD

Prerequisite Knowledge
Master level studies in field of environmental politics, forest policy and economic, environmental issues, social science or related natural resources governance. Or other advanced studies/practical experience in environmental conflict situations. All students need to submit a motivation letter and CV.

Admission for NOVA courses is handled by the course organiser/ the NOVA member institution organising the course. Please see the links in the margin for more information.

Apply here


Published 22. December 2016 - 9:59 - Updated 3. April 2018 - 15:14