1 x 50-minute lecture weekly
1 x 50-minute tutorial weekly
Enrolment not permitted
1 of DVST2001, DVST2701, DVST8022 has been successfully completed
Course context
Class Contact for the external option:

19 1- hour on-line exercises per semester
Topic description
This topic investigates the concept of sustainable development both in terms of its history and the contemporary debates surrounding it. Sustainable development will not only be explored from the perspective of national and international development agencies aiming to combine environmental protection and economic growth objectives, but also by looking at how development scholars, environmentalist movements, and local people have constructed their own perceptions of sustainability. This contemporary debate is informed by tensions between the `global' and the `local', debates about governance, modernist perceptions of science and nature, and development theories. The topic will examine how sustainable development is played out in various terrains, such as mega-cities, agricultural regions, and mining areas, and how it is applied to issues such as biodiversity, climate change, energy use, population growth and food production. Case studies will variously be drawn from Africa, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. Students will apply the broader concepts and debates to critically analyse specific environment and development problems.
Educational aims
  1. Explain and contextualise the emergence of sustainable development in the field of development studies
  2. Highlight the multi-disciplinary nature of sustainable development
  3. Identify the key and emerging debates related to sustainable development, and how they are contextualised at global and local levels
  4. Explore several areas where development practices have led to environmental problems which constrain future improvements in well-being
  5. Investigate and evaluate through case studies the measures that have been taken to address these development problems
Expected learning outcomes
At the completion of this topic, students are expected to be able to:
  1. Define sustainable development and describe its historical evolution
  2. Explain the theoretical perspectives informing different approaches to sustainable development, and the conflicts over sustainable development policies (between North and South, local and global, economists and environmentalists)
  3. Recognise the complexity and influence of values, beliefs and ideas within debates on sustainable development
  4. Apply the broader concepts and debates to specific environment and development problems
  5. Communicate effectively through oral and written presentations
  6. Critically analyse development policies at both local and international level