AG2142 Political Economy for Environmental Planners 7.5 credits

Political Economy for Environmental Planners

Global economic and political mechanisms with regard to environmental and sustainability problems. Processes of decision-making concerning local, national and international sustainability issues.

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Course information

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents *

This course is an introduction to the environmental and sustainability aspects of the operation of the global political economy system. The course gives the students a basic understanding of political economy applied primarily to global and regional problems of environment and natural resource management. It also provides an introduction to the economic and political principles for the making of environmental policy and the processes of decision-making at local, national and international levels.

The course follows three main lines: political economy and sustainability; varieties of development; and international environmental negotiations, as a tool to address global sustainability issues. Students will become familiar with the processes of decision-making and decision analysis and will gain experience from group exercises and simulated games.

Intended learning outcomes *

The aims of the course are to:

  • familiarise students with the mechanisms of the global political economy system and its impacts on global, national, regional and local environmental and sustainability issues,
  • provide an understanding of decision-making processes concerning sustainability issues at all levels, with an emphasis on environmental negotiation

After the course the student will be able to:

  • describe some common economic and political tools to solve environmental problems,
  • understand the meaning of specific economic and political concepts and exemplify how these concepts have been applied to environmental issues, like e.g. prosperity, development, economic growth, burden sharing, efficiency, cost/benefit,
  • present an analysis of the impact of political economy and social institutions on both local environments and the global environment,
  • explain the special attributes of international environmental negotiation, particularly within the climate change debate,
  • write a literature review paper of scientific writing style comprising a critical assessment of the main ideas brought up in the literature

Course Disposition

Class time activity is divided up into lectures, guest lectures and seminars.

The course follows three main lines: political economy and sustainability; varieties of development; and international environmental negotiations, as a tool to address global sustainability issues. It is concluded with a written examination covering all three lines. There are four seminars in the course and three assignments to be written in relation to these.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites *

A Bachelor’s degree in architecture or landscape architecture, civil engineering in the built environment or equivalent, urban and regional planning or social sciences including courses corresponding to a minimum of 30 ECTS credits in the field of urban, transport or regional planning and economics, geoinformatics or environmental sciences.

In addition documented proficiency in English corresponding to English B/English 6 or equivalent (TOEFL, IELTS e g).

Recommended prerequisites

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Equipment

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Literature

Students are to read the literature for the course provided on the web-based learning platform, which may contain some of the following literature:

Daly, Herman E. (1991). Steady-State Economics, 2nd ed. Washington, D.C.: Island Press. 

Edwards-Jones, Gareth; Davies, Ben & Hussain, Salman (2000). Ecological Economics: an introduction. London: Blackwell Publishing.

Ostrom, Elinor (2000). Collective action and the evolution of social norms. Journal of Natural Resource Policy Research, Vol 6(4): 235-252.

Sachs, Wolfgang (2000). Development: The Rise and Decline of an Ideal. Working paper, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy.

Solnit, Rebecca (2016/2004). Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities. Chicago: Haymarket Books.

Obligatorisk och övrig kurslitteratur görs tillgänglig för studenterna på den webbaserade läroplattformen och kan bland annat inkludera följande litteratur:

Daly, Herman E. (1991). Steady-State Economics, 2nd ed. Washington, D.C.: Island Press. 

Edwards-Jones, Gareth; Davies, Ben & Hussain, Salman (2000). Ecological Economics: an introduction. London: Blackwell Publishing.

Ostrom, Elinor (2000). Collective action and the evolution of social norms. Journal of Natural Resource Policy Research, Vol 6(4): 235-252.

Sachs, Wolfgang (2000). Development: The Rise and Decline of an Ideal. Working paper, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy.

Solnit, Rebecca (2016/2004). Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities. Chicago: Haymarket Books.

Examination and completion

Grading scale *

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Examination *

  • LIT1 - Course Papers, 4.5 credits, Grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 3.0 credits, Grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade *

The course is mainly presented as lectures and seminars. Attendance at all lectures is highly encouraged but the minimum requirement is at least 75% of the lectures. Participation in all the seminars is mandatory to fulfill the course requirements.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Examiner

Jonathan Metzger

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web AG2142

Offered by

ABE/Urban and Regional Studies

Main field of study *

Built Environment

Education cycle *

Second cycle

Add-on studies

AG2143 Sustainable Urban and Rural Development

AG2803 Ecosystem Support and Environmental Justice

Contact

malin.hansen@abe.kth.se

Ethical approach *

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.