6305.21 - Political Ecology

Course number
Political Ecology
Political Ecology
The objective is to introduce students to the field of political ecology – an interdisciplinary approach for studying, analysing, and understanding how power influences socio-environmental relations and processes. The student will obtain knowledge and analytical qualifications which can be used practically, for example in relation to natural resource management, environmental planning and sustainable development work.
 Theory about the relation between development and the environment, for example sustainable development, ecological modernisation and post-development.  Analysis of the relation between local environmental issues and global political economic processes/dynamics.  Theory about environmental conflicts and discussion about how to solve such conflicts.  Theory about power, inequality, and marginalisation in relation to environmental issues and natural resource management.  Analysis of different perspectives and the interests of differently positioned stakeholders in relation to ongoing environmental issues and natural resource management in the Faroe Islands.
Learning and teaching approaches
Presentations, discussion, and exercises. Students will participate actively, for example by presenting their understanding of selected texts and, in general, by contributing to discussions. The students will also participate in a daytrip, where they will obtain practical insight and learn from different stakeholders in relation to an ongoing environmental conflict in the Faroe Islands.
Learning outcomes
After completed course, the student will be able to: • Analyse and discuss different perspectives and interests in relation to environmental issues and natural resource management. • Explain how climate change and environmental problems are related to political economic structures and dynamics. • Critically discuss mainstream trends and praxis in environmental politics, e.g. sustainable development and ecological modernisation. • Explain how nature is socially constructed through narratives and discourses, and how this influences natural resource management, climate policy, etc. • Discuss ongoing environmental conflicts and discussions about access to natural resources in the Faroe Islands drawing from concepts and theory in political ecology.
Assessment method
Written exam (essay), 4,500 words (+/- 10%).
Marking scale
Distributed bibliography, which is also available at the Department of History and Social Sciences.
Elisabeth Skarðhamar Olsen