Autumn Semester 2020 takes place in a mixed form of online and classroom teaching.
Please read the published information on the individual courses carefully.

701-0727-00L  Politics of Environmental Problem Solving in Developing Countries

SemesterAutumn Semester 2016
LecturersU. Scheidegger
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish

AbstractThe course focuses on processes and drivers of decision-making on natural resources management issues in developing countries. It gives insights into the relevance of ecological aspects in developing countries. It covers concepts, instruments, processes and actors in environmental politics at the example of specific environmental challenges of global importance.
ObjectiveAfter completion of the module, students will be able to:
- Identify and appraise ecological aspects in development cooperation, development policies and developing countries' realities
- Analyze the forces, components and processes, which influence the design, the implementation and the outcome of ecological measures
- Characterize concepts, instruments and drivers of environmental politics and understand, how policies are shaped, both at national level and in multilateral negotiations
- Study changes (improvements) in environmental politics over time as the result of the interaction of processes and actors, including international development organizations
- Analyze politics and design approaches to influence them, looking among others at governance, social organization, legal issues and institutions
ContentKey issues and basic concepts related to environmental politics are introduced. Then the course predominantly builds on case studies, providing information on the context, specifying problems and potentials, describing processes, illustrating the change management, discussing experiences and outcomes, successes and failures. The analysis of the cases elucidates factors for success and pitfalls in terms of processes, key elements and intervention strategies.

Different cases not only deal with different environmental problems, but also focus on different levels and degrees of formality. This ranges from local interventions with resource user groups as key stakeholders, to country level policies, to multi- and international initiatives and conventions. Linkages and interaction of the different system levels are highlighted. Special emphasis is given to natural resources management.

The cases address the following issues:
- Land use and soil fertility enhancement: From degradation to sustainable use
- Common property resource management (forest and pasture): Collective action and property rights, community-based management
- Ecosystem health (integrated pest management, soil and water conservation)
- Payment for environmental services: Successes in natural resources management
- Climate change and agriculture: Adaptation and mitigation possibilities
- Biodiversity Convention: Implications for conservations and access to genetic resources
- Biodiversity as a means for more secure livelihoods: Agroforestry and intercropping
- The Millennium Development Goals: Interactions between poverty and the environment
- Poverty and natural resources management: Poverty reduction strategies, the view of the poor themselves
- Food security: Policies, causes for insecurity, the role of land grabbing
- Biofuels and food security: Did politics misfire?
- Strategy development at global level: IAASTD and World Development Report 2008
Lecture notesInformation concerning the case studies and specific issues illustrated therein will be provided during the course (uploaded on Moodle)
LiteratureRobbins P, 2004. Political ecology: a critical introduction. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UK, 242 p.

Peet R, Robbins P, Watts M, 2011. Global political ecology. Routledge, New York, 450 p.

Keeley J, Scoones I, 2000. Knowledge, power and politics: the environmental policy-making process in Ethiopia. The Journal of Modern African Studies, 38(1), 89-120.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe performance assessment will consist of an individual essay to be written by each student based on at least five references in addition to the sources provided in the course. Students can choose from a list of topics. Criteria for assessment will be communicated at the beginning of the course.