Environment and Development


Course Objective

The aim of the Environment & Development course is to enable the student
to examine and critically reflect
on the relationships between economic and social development, and the
After completion of the course students are able to:
Recognize and describe the current and potential impacts of the major
international environmental concerns
Recognize, analyze and explain the complexities of environmental issues
related to development at a global level
Distinguish, analyse and explain different perspectives on environmental
problems and possible solutions
Recognize organizational and governance issues related to environment
and development and be able to think through their consequences for
actural practices
Find, analyze and critically reflect on scientific literature within a
relevant topic
Present and discuss the researched topic to an audience
Function as a memebr of a project team in a research environment

Course Content

What do we mean by the concepts of environment and development and how
are the two related? What are the causes and consequences of global
environmental change? How is the global community dealing with
ecological problems? How can the world adequately feed more than 9
Billion people by 2050? Is sustainable development, with its notions of
environmental 'friendliness', really achievable?

During the course we will address these and other ciritical and
societally relevant questions.
THe course takes a multi- and interdisciplinary perspective and looks
both at: (1)
Global Issues - such as environment-trade-poverty links; and (2) Local
- focusing on land degradation, deforestation, water scarcity and how
these have an impact
on human development. By means of illustrated case studies from all over
the world students
learn to appreciate the complexity and interlinked nature of
environmental and development
issues at both global and local levels. Students also develop their own
(critical) opinion regarding
current (and potential) international environmental challenges and their

Teaching Methods

Lectures, group discussions, field visit, and tutorials.
Attending the lectures and field visit are mandatory.

Method of Assessment

Trip report on the field visit (15%)
Group presentation (25%)
Group poster (15%)
Individual policy paper (45%)


Clapp, J., & Dauvergne, P. (2011) Paths to a Green World: the political
economy of the global environment. 2nd edition. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Additional literature to be announced in the course manual (see CANVAS).

Target Audience

Students in the Minor Development and Global Challenges;
Open as an elective course for Exchange students;
Open as an elective course for VU students.

Additional Information

Comments from former students:
"Eye-opening to very important topics and a lot of additional info"
"I liked the broadness of the course. I really have an overview now of
the main environmental issues"
"Thanks a lot for the course, I have learned a lot and will recommend it
to others!"

General Information

Course Code S_ED
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 200
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator drs. W.A.M. Tuijp
Examiner drs. W.A.M. Tuijp
Teaching Staff drs. W.A.M. Tuijp
drs. S.L. Di Prima MSc

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: