Global Environment and Society

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSGA2GS4044

Semester and Year Offered: 1st Semester, 1st Year

Course Coordinator and Team: Praveen Singh

Email of course coordinator: praveen[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: None

Aim: The aim of the course is to develop a global perspective on environmental concerns, introduce students to how the idea of the global was constructed, and the role of environmental concepts and ideas in this construction. Further, the course critically examines the histories and genealogies of these concepts and how these are used for political and economic gains. The goal is to also examine the varieties of environmentalism and how different actors approach the environmental question from different vantage points, and at different scales. The final part of the course will examine chosen contemporary environmental concerns with a special focus on global warming leading to climate change, which is rapidly redefining the larger debate.

Course Outcomes:

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a critical understanding of the major environmental challenges and how these are sought to be resolved at different scales and actors;
  2. place contemporary environmental change in a historical and ideological context;
  3. understand globality through environmentalism, and vice versa;
  4. conceptualise concrete events and processes through different analystical lenses.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

UNIT I: Global perspectives on environment and society

  • Globalization & World Ecology
  • Global discourses on the environment

UNIT II: Transnational environmental governance and movements

  • Global Institutions and Expertise
  • The origins and critiques of Corporate Environmentalism
  • Transnational Networks
  • Alternative discourses on environments and environmental movements

UNIT III: Contemporary environmental concerns

  • Climate Change and Disasters: Risk, Vulnerability, and Resilience
  • Resource Extraction
  • Urbanisation

Assessment Details with weights:

  • Fortnightly response paper (total 6 papers): 5% each (30%)
  • Project (term paper and/or multimedia project on a topic/theme of students’ interest): 30%
  • Essay-based final exam based on full semester syllabus: 40%

Reading List:

  • Grevsmuhl, SV (2016), ‘Images, imagination and the global environment: towards an interdisciplinary research agenda on global environmental images’, Geography and Environment, 3(2).
  • Moore, Jason (2015), Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital. London: Verso.
  • Judith Carney (2002), Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas. Harvard University Press.
  • Dauvergne, P & J. Clapp (2005), Paths to a Green World: The Political Economy of the Global Environment, MIT Press.
  • Jasanoff, S & M.L. Martello eds. (2004), Earthly Politics: Local and Global in Environmental Governance, MIT Press.
  • Benedick, R (1998), Ozone diplomacy: new directions in safeguarding the planet. Harvard University Press.
  • Peter Utting and Jennifer Clapp (eds) (2008). Corporate Accountability and Sustainable Development. New Delhi: OUP
  • Bruce Rich (2013), Foreclosing the Future: The World Bank & the Politics of Environmental Destruction, Island Press.
  • Keck, Margaret, and Kathryn Sikkink (1998). Activists Beyond Borders. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
  • Agrawal, Arun, (2005), Environmentality: Technologies of Government and the Making of Subjects. Duke University Press.
  • Petryna (2010), When Experiments Travel: Clinical Trials and the Global Search for Human Subjects. University of Princeton Press.
  • Hulme, M. (2009), Why We Disagree About Climate Change: Understanding Controversy, Inaction and Opportunity. CUP.
  • Timothy Mitchell (2013), Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil, Verso.