The aim of the course is to probe how understandings of ecology and the relationship of people to their environment vary cross-culturally.
After accomplishing the course the student is expected to: Have an in-depth understanding of how peoples relationships to their environment are articulated in different contexts; Have the analytical and conceptual tools for analysing society-environment relations from a political ecology perspective; Discuss the interactions of local, national and global processes through specific case-studies; Be able to analyse environmentalist discourses and their practical consequences in relation to society and culture.
Ecology is inherently political. In this course the ecocosmologies of indigenous peoples are compared to the ecological paradigms of western science. Contemporary case studies serve to illustrate ongoing contests for stewardship over resources, to discuss modern buzzwords such as sustainable development and to debate the Tragedy of the Commons model.
The teaching will be conducted through lectures, seminars and counselling. Attendance at seminars is obligatory. The language of instruction is English.
The course grade will be based on active participation in seminars and the writing of a paper. The grades are Pass with distinction (VG), pass (G), fail (U).