Teaching‎ > ‎

Undergraduate courses


GV2GRO - Growth, De-growth and Sustainability

Aims

The module equips students with the skills to identify, analyse and evaluate i) the environmental and social issues generated by the pursuit of social prosperity through economic growth in a finite planet, and ii) alternative models for the sustainable pursuit of social prosperity.

Description

Historically, the pursuit of social well-being through economic growth has been closely tied to increasing consumption levels as well as increasing loads on the environment, which has resulted in several environmental problems (e.g. depletion of natural resources, climate change). Besides, it has become apparent that economic growth is only limitedly associated with social prosperity. As a consequence, different models of development and of structuring the relationship between economic and social systems and the environment have been proposed, among which green growth and de-growth. These alternative models address the issue of the pursuit of economic growth on a finite planet differently, but agree on the need for socio-technical change at different levels, including behavioural (e.g. consumption patterns), institutional (e.g. social norms and values), and technical change. The module will discuss key concepts and a range of theoretical approaches to addressing these issues. The topics covered by this module include: economic systems and the environment; indicators of social prosperity; population, resources and environment; de-growth; dynamics of socio-technical change.


Environment and Development in Latin America

Aims

This module critically explores the relationship between environment and development in the context of Latin America from theoretical and applied perspectives. Students examine key social, cultural, political and economic forces influencing the contested use of natural resources in Latin America at a range of geographical levels.

Description

This module critically explores the relationship between environment and development in the context of Latin America from theoretical and applied perspectives. It addresses issues of sustainable development, the effects of economic activities, political decisions and social conditions on the environment, indigenous cultures and new trends of environmental governance in Latin America. The module focuses on formal and informal arrangements, interactions among state, private sector and civil society actors, at a range of geographical levels from the household to the community, regional, national and international level. The module focuses on contemporary trends and debates, especially those related to rural areas, but pays due attention to their historical, particularly colonial and post-colonial roots. Topics covered in the module include: conservation and environmental governance; agriculture and climate change; ‘buen vivir’ and indigenous conceptions of the ‘good life’; peasant struggles, land grabbing and rural change; water management; the role of Latin America in global environmental governance.