Political Ecology as a Development Critique | Humanities & Social Sciences

Political Ecology as a Development Critique

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Course Objective

The course introduces Political Ecology as a theoretical approach and as a development critique under global capitalism. Political Ecology distinctly applies the principles of political economy to understand the relationship between social ecology, culture, and the environment. This inter-disciplinary approach synthesizes central social questions on the relationship between political economy, social organization, and humanized nature with specific reference to developing contexts such as India. The advance of neo-liberalism has fostered a critical discourse on the urgent need for global environmental governance and checking environmental degradation under global capitalism. On successful completion of this course, the student will be familiar with debates on political ecology as an analytical frame of enquiry, and criticism of development under market environmentalism at the local and the global level.

Course Content

Questions of conflict over natural resources, the conservation of biodiversity under market environmentalism, the political ecology of farming and industry, the emergence of environmental movements, the political ecology of indigenous people, feminist political ecology, urban ecology, environmental justice, and degrowth comprise core concerns of this course. The influence of globalization and neo-liberalism provides a rich context to understand these contestations and conflict over resource distribution. These propel the debates on ecological utopias. Case Studies include (any two per semester): forestry; industry and mining; body and health; climate change; water; political ecology of tribal areas of India.
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