UE Facing environnemental issues : theories, concepts and tools

Degrees incorporating this pedagocial element :


Resource scarcity and other new environmental challenges have become more pressing in the last decades. A rising ecological consciousness now permeates political debates, economic policies and development projects, assessing the environmental footprint of human action at every scale. Social sciences have made a major input in the environmental debate by heavily contributing to the theoretical and practical shift from “the natural” to “the environmental”, by stressing the inherent political and social dimension of environmental issues, and by developing useful concepts (e.g. accessibility, vulnerability, resilience…). Facing Environmental Issues will be taught as a set of courses: a political ecology short and theoretical seminar will provide a theoretical approach, while more practical courses will present concrete development projects and tools, such as Community-Based Resource Management and Energy Transition.


Background in social sciences

Targeted skills

At the end of this course, students should be able to:At the end of this course, students should be able to:
- Understand the political dimension of environmental issues, especially as far as development is concerned.
- Be able to think critically about environmental issues, e.g.  analyse critically community‐based natural resource management systems with a sensibility for governance and gender aspect
- Understand the relevance of property rights and access to resources, the pros and cons of common property regimes, the value and limits of local knowledge, the role of natural resources within multidimensional livelihood strategies, reasons for environmental degradation and the concept of sustainable resource management;
- Recognize the main principles for successful community‐based natural resource management.
- Know the challenges of energy transition and some possible, successful models


Adams, W. M. (2009). Green development : environment and sustainability in a developing world (3rd ed.). London ; New York: Routledge. Peet, R., & Watts, M. (2004). Liberation ecologies : environment, development, social movements (2nd ed.). London ; New York: Routledge. Robbins, P., Hintz J., & Moore, S. (2010). Environment and Society. Chichester, West Sussex ; Malden, MA: J. Wiley & Sons. Robbins, P. (2012). Political ecology: a critical introduction (2nd ed.). Chichester, West Sussex ; Malden, MA: J. Wiley & Sons.