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The course develops a critical framework for understanding uneven development including social justice and environmental change with a special focus on the rapid urbanisation of the global South. The course is fundamental for further studies in critical environmental research, sustainable development, and development studies.
In the course we develop a theoretical framework based on three key concepts: uneven development, "thinking from the South," and political ecology. Political ecology emphasises how development requires social and environmental transformation that shape rural and urban landscapes and creates winners and loosers. In parallel, we draw upon postcolonial thought to challenge from where development, sustainability and urbanization can be understood. This expands the places, experiences and researchers that can inform development theory and practice.
Pedagogically, the course is based on creating a community of inquiry between students and the teacher. Lectures are followed by group work as well as seminars and individual consultation hours. This creates a learning environment where it is safe to both ask and try to answer difficult questions. Group work means to do a case study analysis of a city in the South (Kampala, Lagos, Luanda, Bangalore, etc.), applying theory to understand complex realities and sharing your insights. You will also train essay writing with peer and teacher feedback to support your growth as a writer and thinker.