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Economy and Ecology: Dichotomy and Practice


This course is taught in Dutch in the academic year 2018-2019

Access requirements

Only the following categories of students can register for this course:

  • Students enrolled for the BSc programme “CA-DS” at Leiden University

  • Pre-master students who have completed their Admission procedure for the master CA-DS and have been formally admitted to this course as part of the pre-master programme.
    Please see the "Registration" instruction below.


Students gain insight into the complex relations between economy and ecology. Economic processes of production, trade and consumption draw heavily on natural resources. The course will focus on debates about the tense relationship between economic growth and protection of the environment; inequality and violence in the distribution of wealth and environmental effects; alternative (more just and sustainable) economic practices; and the relationship between capitalism and the anthropocene (climate change under the influence of human action). The course is structured around the intersections of economic relations (sociality and money, organization of labor, and global connections between producers, traders and consumers) and issues of sustainability and ecology (environmental justice, certification, alternative food networks, environmental problems in cities and rural areas).

Learning goals

  • Acquiring knowledge about classical and recent approaches in economic anthropology and anthropology of sustainability and the environment as well as the relationship between these two fields.

  • Gain insights into current debates about the relations between economy and ecology through thematic lectures, with an emphasis on how anthropology can contribute to these debates.

  • Exercise in basic academic skills.


Dates and room numbers can be found on the website

Mode of instruction

Total 10 ECTS = 280 study hours (sbu)

Lectures (12 x 2 hours = 24h / 36 sbu)
Assignments about 3 pages (24 sbu)
Literature approx. 1300 pages (220 sbu)

Assessment method

  • Posts for Discussion (maximum of 500 words before each lecture in block 1, of which no more than two lectures may be missed) AND substantive responses to posts submitted by others (maximum 250 words, at least twice during the course). This does not count towards the final mark but adequate performance is required for access to examinations

  • Written examination on the literature of block 1; accounts for 100% of the final mark. Registration in Usis is required - see Exam entry


Blackboard will be used to announce the detailed course program. Students can register from 2 weeks before the start of the course on Blackboard.


A selection of articles and chapters (to be downloaded via the digital library, unless otherwise indicated): see the list on Blackboard.


Registration for all participants takes place via Usis for the lectures and the exam. On the website on course registration you will find the registration periods and further information about the procedure.


Dr. Sabine Luning