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Environment & Development




Admissions requirements

Awareness of international environmental and development problems related to social and environmental effects, as well as willingness to look for solutions that optimize both human development (in a broader than economic sense) and environmental outcomes.


The subject of Environment and Development builds bridges between environmental and economic policy at national and international government and community levels, and links them across diverse interest groups. In this course, different theoretical frameworks as well as practice of environmental and development governance will be discussed, including the work of organizations and institutions such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the United Nations conventions on climate change and biological diversity.

The course focuses on the question of how do considerations of justice, development, sustainability and resilience influence resource use and conservation. How are natural resources managed, and who is responsible for nature conservation? The course will also explore interdisciplinary and problem-oriented approaches to biodiversity conservation and human development.

Course objectives

After following this course, the students will acquire theoretical and practical knowledge of both economic development and environmental policy. The students will be able to identify critical theories and ethical dilemmas when approaching global issues and will be able to describe various models and frameworks in relation to environment and development. The students will be able to apply theories to practical situations by outlining and evaluating the key patterns and trends in international politics with special emphasis on sustainable practices. They will learn to evaluate the effect of increasing globalization on international trade systems and the role of several principal institutions in international developmental and environmental policy. Culture specific competences will include knowledge of the underlying principles, characteristics, and dynamics of sustainable living that in varying combinations govern all cultures. The students will be able to research and analyze international environmental and development problems related to social and environmental effects, and to propose policy objectives that take environmental sustainability in the long term into account, preparing solutions that optimize both human development (in a broader than economic sense) and environmental outcomes.

In sum, the students will be able to

  • Acquire theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of environment and development;

  • Develop interdisciplinary insights in biodiversity conservation;

  • Improve understanding of contemporary debates on environmental conservation;

  • Practice general academic skills.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

The course uses a mix of interactive lectures, seminars and excursions.


The assessment will consist of four parts: Discussion, Assignments, Essay and Presentation:

Discussion of the assigned articles will normally occur during the second class of the week with individual students being assigned the chapter or article to discuss. ALL students need to read weekly literature, but only a few per week will lead the discussion. Presenting students should introduce the author(s) and briefly introduce the main points of the article, concluding their presentation with a few questions for feedback from other students. Grading criteria for discussion is the ability to lead critical discussion, demonstrating insight, and asking relevant questions that engage classmates. Grading criteria participation: respond to discussant’s questions in class, demonstrate active listening and engagement. Weight: 30% (15% participation and 15% for discussion).

Individual weekly assignments for ALL students are specified per week. Students also have to write a brief summary and reflection on assigned literature as part of weekly assignments (about 600 words per summary weekly readings, 500 words per film). Summary of weekly readings should reflect on the main topic of the week, taking points from the select articles and discussing them in further detail in relation to the main theme. Evaluation will occur mid-term and at the end of the course. The grade will reflect the average of all assignments. Weight: 40% (20% first batch; 20% second batch).

Essay: about 3000 words (+/-10%) on the case study of Cradle to Cradle (C2C) or circular economy (CE) and reflect on the larger field of Environment and Development. Introduction should discuss differences between conventional approaches to sustainability and C2C/CE. The case study should either use a case discussed in group presentation or your own case. Weight: 20%.

Present a case study of Circular Economy or Cradle to Cradle in a group of 3-4 students. Maximum 10 minutes. Grade will be shared per group. See Case Study Cradle to Cradle document on Blackboard. Weight: 10%.


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

Wil be specified per week in the syllabus.

Textbook: Kopnina, H and Blewitt, J. 2014. Sustainable Business: Key Issues, New York: Routledge. Electronic and hard copies also available through the library.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact