ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT: CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES
Dr S Randalls
Unit Value: 0.5 unit
Year 3 Term 1
For many commentators and journalists what is needed to counteract increasingly visible threats of declining biodiversity and a warming world is more and better environmental management. GEOG 3012 will raise the following questions: what do we mean by the environment and environmental management? How are these environments considered to be ‘at risk’? Why do they require management and is that possible? Who should do the managing and whose interests will be heard/silenced? What would be considered a healthy environment and/or successful management?
GEOG 3012 is a lecture-based course integrating theories and practices of environmental management. The course explores the sciences and politics of environmental management examining the historical and contemporary practices by which environments have been managed. It analyses the data, models and theories that make up scientific understandings of the environment; the economic concepts and rationale for establishing environmental markets; and the creation of governed and governable environmental subjects and citizens. Through these three areas, and drawing upon debates from environmental governance and political ecology literatures, the course will critically interrogate the ways in which environments are rendered as manageable entities.
By the end of the course students should be able to: critically evaluate the current practices and discourses of environmental management; analyse the place of and political rationales for science, markets and people in this management; and to have an ‘informed opinion’ on these debates.
The course will draw attention to the multifaceted, historically and geographically situated, and complex nature of debates surrounding environmental management, drawing upon contemporary research in geography, anthropology and science and technology studies. There is significant focus on governmentality and political ecology literatures throughout the course, but these should be considered a starting-point to generate debate rather than the ‘right’ approach. The course material will focus primarily on three case studies (biodiversity, climate change and forestry) however students are very welcome to read and write about other examples.
Method of Teaching
Lectures and group discussions
Form of Assessment
50% Examination (2 questions from 6)
50% 2,500-word essay
Pre-requisites and Relationship with other courses
Students may find it useful to have taken GEOG 2009 - Environmental Governance
There is no set textbook for the course, but the following books are important introductions to the debates:
Castree, N. 2005. Nature, Routledge, Abingdon, 281pp
Castree, N., Demeritt, D., Liverman, D. and Rhoads, B. 2009. A Companion to Environmental Geography, Wiley-Blackwell, 608pp
Fischer, F. and Hajer, M.A. (eds) 1999. Living with Nature: Environmental Politics as Cultural Discourse, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 269pp
Forsyth, T. 2003. Critical political ecology: the politics of environmental science, Routledge, London, 320pp
Jasanoff, S. and Martello, M.L. (eds) 2004. Earthly Politics: Local and Global in Environmental Governance, MIT Press, Cambridge, 356pp