Environment and Development

2019-2020

Course Objective

The aim of the Environment & Development course is to enable you as
student to examine and critically reflect on the relationships between
economic and social development, and the environment.

After completion of the course you 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
actual practices.

Moreover as a student you learn to find, analyze and critically reflect
on scientific literature within a relevant topic and become a project
teammember in a research environment, presenting and discussing the
researched topic to an audience.

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 critical 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 Issues -
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.
Furthermore we encourage students to develop their own (critical)
opinion regarding current (and potential) international environmental
challenges and their impacts.

Teaching Methods

Lectures, working group assignment, field visit, and tutorials.
Lectures (H) and assignment are supported by in-class discussions (W),
exercises and reading material.

Method of Assessment

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

Literature

For each week, a selection of articles will be made to be studied in
advance, to be announced in the course manual (see Canvas).
For background reading on the key concepts in this class we will use
"Paths to a Green World: the political economy of the global
environment" by Jennifer Clapp and Peter Dauvergne (2011) 2nd edition.
Cambridge - MIT Press.

Target Audience

The E&D course is for all third year VU bachelor students, including
exchange students. Students outside the VU, such as UvA, are also
welcome to join the Environment & Development course.

Additional Information

Comments from former students:
"Eye-opening to very important topics by multiple (guest) lecturers and
a lot of additional info"
"Having never been on a field trip at university before it was an
interesting experience and nice to be able to see parts of Amsterdam I
may have not discovered alone."
"Being split into groups at the very beginning made it much easier for
me to meet people and make friends amongst my course mates."
"Thanks a lot for the course, I have learned a lot and will recommend it
to others!"

Recommended background knowledge

Interest in environmental issues and social questions

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: