An interest in exploring humanity's pursuit of development and the Earth's biosphere as a habitat for life. Awareness of global environmental and development challenges and how these intersect ecological, social and economic dimensions. Being open to new ways of thinking about how humanity dwells on planet Earth.
Environment and development have increasingly come to be about the fundamentals of dwelling in the 21st Century. In this era of limited natural resources and global, instantaneous and high speed connectivity and technology, issues of peace and security, social and ecological rights and justice, mobility, risks and hazards, ethics, active citizenship, identity and diversity overlap with people's pursuit of their socio-economic development and ecological relations. There is compelling evidence to support the contention that humankind has entered a new Anthropocene era, where humanity is frequently the main driver of change in the physical environment, challenging planetary limits to the point of climate change, biodiversity loss, dryland expansion and nutrient loading of aquatic ecosystems. On the upside there are opportunities to halt this unsustainable progression (to some extent) through innovative ecological and socio-economic practices that facilitate sustainable development, to the benefit of all, within planetary resources. Progress and prosperity for all, where the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable are amply addressed, underpins the present day development perspective. This is epitomised in the Sustainable Development 2030 agenda's commitment to 'leave no one behind' whilst transforming the world. Address of social and ecological justice is clearly also part of the 'sustainable development' narrative. How we live in the environment and what we know about it and humanity's development, extends beyond individuals and communities to the agendas of civil society organisations, researchers, an array of institutions, public and corporate policy, legislation, market dynamics and international agreements. As such studying environment and development requires an holistic approach.
This course focuses on human development, the non human environment and the ecological relations therein. It will cover key ecological concepts and models, sustainable development and nature conservation. Global environmental and development challenges and solutions thereof will be explored. This will encompass traditional and more recent ways of thinking about development and the environment e.g. modernity, risk society, development aid, 'the doughnut', regulation and policy including lifecycle assessment, social and ecological justice, cradle to cradle/circular economies, Sustainable Development Goals 2030, active citizenship, transformed global institutions and the dwelling perspective.
On successful completion of this course students will be knowledgeable about and able to
- Identify, critically evaluate and discuss key global environment and development challenges, theories and responses, including that of sustainable development.
- Understand environmental assessment and its purpose/s, including Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
- Understand, reflect on and critically appraise the paradigm shift of 'Zero waste' and the circular economy.
- Demonstrate capacity for individual critical thought, rational inquiry and interdisciplinary thinking.
- Work independently as well as effectively collaborate in groups during class discussions, activities and course assignments.
- Conceptually and innovatively design, defend and present a circular economy product or service.
- Meaningfully interpret scientific data with a focus on those which inform key debates on planetary limits and realising human well being for all.
- Construct academically concise, persuasive and meaningful contributions in the form of presentations, class discussion and written material.
Once available, timetables will be published here.
Mode of instruction
This course is taught through a series of lectures and possibly an excursion. Lectures will comprise instruction, pop-quizzes, discussion and debate. Students are expected to participate as individuals and as members of small and large groups. Prescribed reading and viewing of multimedia must be done prior to each class period.
Students will be assessed on an individual and group basis as follows:
- Class participation : 15%
- Individual position paper (poverty and well-being): 35%
- Group assignment (linked to the circular economy): 15%
- Final exam : 35%
There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.
The main textbook for this course is:
- Blewitt, J. 2018. Understanding Sustainable Development. New York: Routledge. (Must be the 3rd edition - available from Amazon - de./co.uk/.com)
Additional readings and audiovisual materials will be provided during the course and made available via Blackboard.
This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The required readings assigned for Week1, Session 1 are:
- Ingold, T. 2005. Epilogue: towards a politics of dwelling. Conservation and Society. [Online]. 3(2), pp. 501-508. [Accessed 11 October 2017]. Available from: http://www.conservationandsociety.org/article.asp?issn=0972-4923;year=2005;volume=3;issue=2;spage=501;epage=508;aulast=Ingold
- Lewis, D. 2005. Anthropology and development: the uneasy relationship. In: Carrier, J.G. (ed.). A handbook of economic anthropology. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp.472-486. [Online]. Available from: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/253/
- Rockström, J., Steffen, W., Noone, K., Persson, Å., Chapin III, F. S., Lambin, E., Lenton, T. M., Scheffer, M., Folke, C., Schellnhuber, H. B., Nykvist, C. A., De Wit, T., Hughes, S., van der Leeuw, H., Rodhe, S., Sörlin, P. K., Snyder, R., Costanza, U., Svedin, M., Falkenmark, L., Karlberg, R. W., Corell, V. J., Fabry, J., Hansen, B., Walker, D., Liverman, K., Richardson, P., Crutzen, K., and Foley, J. 2009. Planetary boundaries: exploring the safe operating space for humanity. Ecology and Society. [Online]. 14(2):32. [Accessed 11 October 2017]. Available from: https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss2/art32/
READ ONLY: ABSRACT UNTIL END OF THE SECTION: CATEGORISING PLANETARY BOUNDARIES (INCLUDING FIGURE 4) + FROM START OF SECTION: INTERACTIONS AMONG THE BOUNDARIES THROUGH TILL END OF PAPER.