Syllabus LUC Environment & Development February-March 2017.docx

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This syllabus was used for Leiden University College, Environment and Development course. The subject of Environment and Development builds bridges between the studies of environmental ethics, sustainability and economic development, and links them
    SYLLABUS ENVIRONMENT & DEVELOPMENT 2017 Leiden University College LUC Level: 300 Credits: 5 ETCS Lecturer: Dr. Helen Kopnina Room in Leiden: 3A33 (working: Tuesdays and Thursdays) Email:; Phone: 071-5273816  INTRODUCTION The subject of Environment and Development builds bridges between the studies of environmental ethics, sustainability and economic development, and links them across diverse interest groups, including nonhumans. In this course, different theoretical frameworks, ethical dilemmas, as well as practice of environmental and development governance will be discussed. This course focuses on the question of how do considerations of justice, development, and sustainability influence resource use, social equality, and  biological conservation. These questions will be raised in this course: Can poverty reduction be decoupled from economic growth and increase in consumption of natural resources? If the alternative path to economic development cannot be found, how can ra ising the standard of the living for developing countries’ people avoid potentially catastrophic impacts on the global ecosystem? What are ecocentric scholars concerned about in regard to natural resources? Since the future generations are not born yet and non-human species cannot speak for themselves, how can intergenerational justice and biospheric egalitarianism be addressed in democratic systems? How can sustainability challenges be overcome? The course will explore interdisciplinary approaches to biodiversity conservation, sustainability and human development, considering alternatives to conventional sustainability approaches and ecologically benign models of production, including Cradle to Cradle and circular economy. LEARNING OBJECTIVES AND OUTCOMES After following this course, the students will acquire theoretical and practical knowledge of (environmental) ethics, economic development and environmental policy. The students will be able to identify critical theories and ethical dilemmas when approaching global issues and will be able to describe various models and frameworks in relation to environment and development. The students will be able to apply theories to practical situations by outlining and evaluating the key patterns and trends in international politics with special emphasis on sustainable practices. They will learn to evaluate the effect of increasing globalization on international trade systems and the role of several principal institutions in international developmental and environmental policy. Culture specific competences will include knowledge of the underlying principles, characteristics, and dynamics of sustainable living that in varying combinations govern all cultures. The students will be able to research and analyze international environmental and development  problems related to social and environmental effects, and to propose policy objectives that take environmental sustainability into account, preparing solutions that optimize both human development (in a broader than economic sense) and environmental outcomes. In sum, the students will be able to · Acquire theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of environment and development; · Develop interdisciplinary insights in biodiversity conservation; · Improve understanding of contemporary debates on poverty, economic growth and conservation MODE OF INSTRUCTION The course uses a mix of interactive lectures, seminars and excursions. LITERATURE Kopnina, H and Blewitt, J. 2014. Sustainable Business: Key Issues , New York: Routledge. Hard and electronic copies available, or second-hand via Amazon. This book will be referred to below as K&B. Additional literature reading is indicated per session below, and available either through LUC library and/or online databases such as Google Scholar or websites such as or If you have trouble downloading the article or getting a book, let the lecturer know. TIMETABLE Mondays 17:00-18:50 + Thursdays 13:00-14:50. Office hours 11.30-13.00 in 4.16.    ASSESSMENT The assessment will consist of four parts: Discussion, Assignments, Essay and Presentation. Discussion  of the assigned articles will normally (unless announced otherwise) occur during the second class of the week (the first one is interactive lecture) with individual students being assigned chapter or article to discuss. ALL students need to read weekly literature, but only a few per week will lead the discussion. Presenting students should introduce the author(s) and briefly introduce the main points of the article (it is expected that all   students would have read it), concluding their presentation with a few questions for feedback from other students. Students’ own leading the discussion AND participation in other  s’  discussions contributes equally to the grade. Grading criteria for discussion is the ability to demonstrating insight and critical perception, and asking relevant questions that engage classmates. Grading criteria participation: respond to discussant’s questions in class, demonstrate active listening and engagement. Individual weekly assignments  for ALL students are specified below per week. Post your assignments in a dropbox of Blackboard AND submit via email compiled in one WORD document with file name ‘ Last Name_First Name_Assignment title ’ . Evaluation will occur mid-term and at the end of the course - see deadlines. The grade will reflect the average of all assignments. Essay : around 3000 words (+/-10% without references) on the case study of Circular Economy or Cradle to Cradle and reflect on the larger field of Environment and Development. Introduction should discuss differences between conventional approaches to sustainability (e.g. eco-efficiency, sustainable growth) and Circular Economy or Cradle to Cradle, linking it to your critical reading of Chapter 11. The case study should either use a specific case discussed in your group presentation or your own industry/company of choice. See Case Study Cradle to Cradle below. Grading criteria Essay: Rubric below. Present  in maximum 10 minutes the case study of Circular Economy or Cradle to Cradle in a group of 3-4 students. Grade will be shared per group. Learning aim   Assessment   Percentage   Deadline Acquire theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of environment and development Individual weekly assignments 40% (20% first batch; 20% second batch) Friday, February 24 (first batch) Friday, March 17 (second batch) Develop interdisciplinary insights in environmental and developmental problems and their solutions Essay 20% Friday, March 24 Improve understanding of contemporary debates Participation and discussion of assigned literature 30% (15% participation and 15% for discussion) Throughout the course Practice and evaluate general academic skills; team work Presentation 10% Last class, Thursday, March 16  WEEKLY OVERVIEW: Week 1. Introduction    Monday, January 30 Lecture: Sustainability linking environment and development Reading: K&B Chapter 1. Assignment: Prepare for the Debate for next class. The statement for the debate is the following: Poverty can be solved by economic growth. Some participants will be in favour of this proposition, others not. If the majority of the class takes one position, the lecturer will randomly di vide the class in two ‘camps’ - thus, you have to be prepared to defend the position you might personally oppose. Think how to define and link the following concepts: economic development, poverty, and sustainability. Preparation (suggestions) For preposition TED talk Hans Rosling Against preposition Schooling the World: Thursday, February 2 DEBATE Debate Requirements -   Each team will defend one point of view. Introduce the topic and present your point of view -   Present all your arguments (minimum 3) supported by evidence. -   Consider and react to the counterarguments -   Summarize shortly what is in support of your point of view. Comment whether the argumentation provided during the Debate has changed your point of view. Guideline Debate  You can use ‘preparation suggestions’  and any relevant additional information. Each participant will defend his/her team’s  point of view, presenting arguments in a particular order and supported with “proof”. All teams will be given short breaks before opening statement, debate and conclusion to consult with each other. One student will act as the Chairman of the debate. Each team should try to convince the Chairman of their point of view. Each team will include students who assume the following roles:    Moderator -- calls the debate to order, poses the debatable point/question, and introduces the debaters and their roles. (1 student)    Lead Debater/Constructor -- presents the main points/arguments for his or her team's stand on the topic of the debate. (1 student per team)    Questioner/Cross-Examiner -- poses questions about the opposing team's arguments to its Question Responder. (up to 3 students per team)    Question Responder -- responds to questions posed by the opposing team's Questioner/Cross-Examiner. (up to 3 students per team)    Summarizer -- summarizes the main points of his or her team's arguments, especially attempts by the opposition to shoot holes in their arguments. (up to 2 students per team)    Chairman -- reflects on strong and weak points from both sides at the closing session, and chooses the winning team. The chairman should (appear to) be impartial. (1 student) Opening statement     Lead debater will address the Chairman and the other students presenting their team’s  point of view and a summary of all arguments Debate     Question Responders should listen attentively to the Questioners from another team    Question Responders should react to the questions and arguments one at a time  Conclusion     Summarizer should summarise what were the arguments to support their team’s  point of view    Summarizer should make clear what drawbacks the other party’s point of view present    The Chairman should reflect which arguments were most convincing and why before choosing sides Assignment: Write position paper on the debate, around 1000 words without references. Like a debate, a position paper presents a point of view of an arguable issue with the aim to convince the reader that your point of view is valid, defensible, carefully examined and supported by convincing arguments. Ensure that you are addressing all sides of the issue, not just the preparation films/literature. You need to persuade your reader that you have well-founded knowledge of the topic, considering the counterarguments showing that you are well informed about both sides. Start with providing a summary of the debate and your position, follow by providing key terms and definitions, as well as a roadmap which indicates how your paper will be organized. Conclude by reflection on how the in-class debate has influenced your thinking (or not). See position paper evaluation rubric  below. Submit with the  first batch  of assignments (see deadline above).   Week 2. Economic development and environmental sustainability Monday, February 6 Lecture: Society, Economy and Sustainability Challenges Reading: K&B Chapter 3. Bateson, G. 1972. The Roots of Ecological Crises. In Bateson, G.  From Steps to an Ecology of the Mind  , University of Chicago Press. Pp. 494-499. Available via the library and via  Bartlett, A. 1998. The New Flat Earth Society Lewis, D. 2005.   Anthropology and development: the uneasy relationship. In  A Handbook of Economic Anthropology : ed. by Carrier, J. G. (ed.). Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK,  pp. 472-486. Garnett, T., Appleby, M. C., Balmford, A., Bateman, I. J., Benton, T. G., Bloomer, P., ... & Herrero, M. 2013. Sustainable intensification in agriculture: premises and policies. Science , 341 (6141), 33-34.  Thursday, February 9 Discussion articles Assignment: Write a brief summary and reflection on literature above (around 600 words without references). Summary and reflection should be evenly balanced. Reflect on the main topic of the week, taking points from the select articles and discuss them in relation to the main theme. Structure your summary/reflection as mini academic articles. Since that literature problematizes the relationship between economic development and environmental sustainability, reflect on the questions: Can economic growth be decoupled from increase in consumption of natural resources? How do you think your own educational background influence your thinking? Submit with the  first batch of assignments.   Week 3. The paradoxes of sustainability
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