Case Studies in Sustainable Development - Class Syllabus

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Gunter, Mike
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Associated Colleges of the South Sustainability Project , Sustainability , Sustainable development , Class syllabus , Comparative environmental politics , Energy politics
This is a detailed syllabus, complete with extensive hyperlinks, for an upper level international politics course comparing case studies in sustainable development. Teaching Method: Syllabus is living document that evolves online over time with the class in consultation with the students themselves, but great care is put into its initial development so that students have a clear understanding of the landscape ahead of them from day one in the class. The complete website for the course is available here: . Description: While deeply ingrained value judgments surround the term sustainable development, most now agree with Herman Daly, a former World Bank economist, that sustainable development is development that utilizes the interest of the earth’s natural resources without encroaching upon its capital. Just exactly how this process is carried out, though, remains hotly contested. That is, the precise political steps for policy implementation remain fuzzy to date. This course examines an array of issues that highlight this deficiency before extrapolating the conditions needed to overcome them and, finally, synthesizing the lessons of our case studies into a blueprint for sustainable development. More specifically, by the end of this course students will be able to: 1. Explain the theoretical context in which the sustainable development debate is set. 2. Identify core causes to unsustainable development. 3. Analyze a range of case studies around the globe, featuring issues such as population growth, consumption, racism, poverty, disease, and ethnic conflict; b.questions of energy usage and waste by-products, including nuclear energy, hydro-electric power, fossil fuels, and solar power; c.economic and environmental protection tradeoffs, involving biodiversity protection, deforestation, invasive species, and tourism. 4. Predict shifts and challenges to sustainable development over the next two decades.