This course will use a geographical political ecology lens to interrogate conflicts between people and institutions over natural resources, in both developed and developing world contexts. The course will first review the literature on political ecology as an explanatory framework before critiquing traditional approaches to the study of natural resources related conflicts. The remainder of the course will rely on theoretical and empirical studies which help to unveil the complexities associated with conflict environments. Five specific themes will be addressed: (1) conflict, the environment and green security (e.g. population-scarcity debates); (2) conflict commodities and extractive natural resources (e.g. oil, forests and diamonds); (3) gendered and ethnic conflict and the environment (e.g. ecofeminism); (4) food security and conflict (e.g. land grabs and food prices), and; (5) conservation conflicts (e.g. conflicts between people and protected areas).
Political Ecology, Environmental Security and Conflict