Global Political Ecology
GEO 260 

Khyber Pass, Afghanistan, photo by Dr. Davis.

Winter 2017
Wednesdays  10-1 pm, Hunt 166

Dr. D. K. Davis
Office: 4210 SS&H

Course Description:


This course examines the background, genesis, and current formulations of political ecology as an approach to studying environmental change/degradation and the relations between society and the environment.  We will examine the theoretical roots and the intellectual development of political ecology over the last several decades.  Political ecology, a large, complex, and sometimes contested geographical subdiscipline, is an approach that incorporates political and economic, as well as social, causes of environmental change.  Thus this course provides an introduction the history of development theory in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, economic globalization, studies in the history of science (specifically environmental sciences and ecology), issues of social justice, and critical studies of environmental history (looking particularly at the legacy of colonial environmental narratives).  We will sample a section of the current political ecology literature dealing with environmental change/degradation; identity, social movements, and resistance; gender, race and class; and related topics in nature-society relations.  We will read a wide variety of case studies and research from Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.  This course does not focus on North America.  Short overviews of topics for professional development will be provided during the course (preparation of CVs, grant proposals, etc.).  Participants will participate in discussions, write weekly response papers, and a final paper that may be a grant proposal, dissertation prospectus, literature review or research paper on a political ecology topic. 

  I welcome graduate students from different departments in the seminar.


(Will be available at the University Bookstore, do NOT purchase before first class meeting, these may change)

1)  Robbins, Paul (2012) Political Ecology: A Critical Introduction.  2nd Edition.  Wiley-Blackwell.
2)  Adams, W.M. (2009)  Green Development: Environment and Sustainability in a Developing World.  3rd Edition.  Routledge.  

3)  Tania Li (2007)  The Will to Improve: Governmentality, Development, and the Practice of Politics.  Duke. 

4)  Peet, Richard (2009)  Unholy Trinity: The IMF, World Bank and WTO.  2nd Edition.  Zed. 

5)  Lave, Rebecca (2012)  Fields and Streams: Stream Restoration, Neoliberalism, and the Future of Environmental Science.  U. of Georgia Press.

This Description Subject to Change