ENVIRON 313 - Environment and Development: Dilemmas of Power and Place in a Global World
Section: 001
Term: WN 2008
Subject: Program in the Environment (ENVIRON)
Department: LSA Environment
May not be repeated for credit.
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Broadly understood, scholarship on development and environmentalism has moved through similar phases, albeit at different times. The first phase of development policies emphasized centrally sponsored programs of change and large-scale projects of improvement. Environmental preservation, analogously, was viewed as hinging on major government initiatives to manage trees, pastures, and wildlife. Central initiatives and scholarly research were often a response to the challenges faced by colonial and newly independent states whose impoverished populations lived within rapidly changing landscapes. Its second phase was more attuned to the problems that entrenched power posed to social change and the challenges of contextual differences. Scholarship in this phase has emphasized more decentralized strategies on development and environment. Participatory and inclusive development and conservation are often viewed as an appropriate solution to excesses and mistakes of past centralized efforts. Most recently, many scholars have moved away from engagement with development or conservation policy and practice, and toward a more critical examination of goals, origins, discourses and outcomes.

Traditional studies of development attempted to globalize particular values of modernity. Taking objectives such as growth, equity, rationalization and political development to be universally desirable, such studies generally focused on how to produce and reproduce the modern in given localities. In a similar vein, early discussions of environmentalism remained wedded to a local/global dichotomy, often focusing on the local as the point where environmental degradation took place and the global as the place to fix it. The emergence of environmental problems of global proportions (i.e. global climate change) has somewhat changed these approaches and introduced both cause and effect at diverse scales from the local to the national to the global.

The course is organized around themes interspersing development and environment. It includes the history of environment and development practices as they have evolved since the 1950s--from the mantra of growth to the focus on new development paradigms such as human and sustainable development. On the environment side, the course examines different aspects of environmental protection and management ranging from conservation, to decentralization of natural resources management, to the emergence of global institutions for environmental governance. While the overall thrust of the course conforms to a theoretical framework that brings together a particular way to understand development and environmentalism, it will be somewhat focused

in our geographical coverage, drawing most empirical materials from Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Intended audience: This class targets SO, JR, SRs interested in better understanding the interaction between development policy and environmental conservation in less developed regions of the world. Designed for any major interested in the environment, especially Social Sciences, PitE and Biological Sciences.

Course Requirements: A research paper of 5,000 words (40%). A short sketch of a research idea will be due by end of January so that students can get early feedback. By the end of the course, each student should have put together a final draft of the paper that will be due on the last day of classes. Beginning from the second week, students will be required write a short (50-100 words) commentary on each reading, either a summary, critique, or focused on one or two sentences that most intrigued them. In addition, students should suggest a couple of discussion questions for the class (20%). The commentary and questions are due the day before class. All students will be expected to contribute to class discussions (10%). Additionally, there will be a mid-term exam (30%).

Class Format: Lecture , 3 hours per week.

ENVIRON 313 - Environment and Development: Dilemmas of Power and Place in a Global World
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
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