Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Normally A or AS level Geography.
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 Hours. 20 x 1 hr lectures.


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Answer one question from each section, four questions set in each  Written exam.  100%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Same format.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the module participants will be able to:

  1. Describe and evaluate the historical trajectory of colonisation development theory and environmental concerns at a global scale
  2. Relate forms of change to associated forms of economic, social and political practices and evaluate the role of sustainability and developmental politics within the wider processes associated with globalisation
  3. Describe the processes which are shaping contemporary forms of development politics and environmental change
  4. Critically assess the explanations that have been advanced to account for these developmental and environmental concerns
  5. Develop critical multi-media reading, interpretation and evaluation skills


The module aims to provide students with an introduction to geographical understandings of current issues in the overlapping fields of global development, colonial and post-colonial theory, and environmental politics. Socio-economic development and environmental sustainability provide two of the major issues structuring human relationships with place and nature in the contemporary world. This module introduces the historical development of these themes, how geographers have engaged with development and environmental theory and practice, and consequent implications for concrete policy and political practices. These themes are addressed through a wide range of case studies from local to global scale.


Lecture 1: Course introduction: questioning development and the environment.


Lecture 2: European expansionism in a global context
Lecture 3: Conquest, mining and slavery in the Americas
Lecture 4: Mercantile colonialism in Africa and Asia
Lecture 5: European expansion from 1800: an overview
Lecture 6: Western visions of 'the Other' in the age of imperialism
Lecture 7: Decolonisation and the legacies of colonialism
Lectures 8-11: Contemporary themes in development studies.


Lecture 12: A brief history of environmentalism
Lecture 13: Nature wars and Environmental Geopolitics
Lecture 14: Industrialization, population growth and the Greens
Lecture 15: Scientific development and the Risk Society
Lecture 16: Globalization and the environment
Lecture 17: Local responses to environmental change: environmental protest movements
Lecture 18: The response of the nation state: the case of the UK
Lecture 19: International action and sustainable development
Lecture 20: Course review and key themes revision session

Reading List

Recommended Text
Blaut, J.M. (1995) The Colonizer's Model of the World: Geographical Diffusionism and Eurocentric History Guildford Publications Primo search Carter, N. (2001) The Politics of the Environment: Ideas, Activism and Policy. Cambridge University Press Primo search Dickenson, J. et al (1996) A Geography of the Third World London: Routledge Primo search Dobson, A. The Green Reader Andre Deutsch Primo search O'Riordan, T (1981) Environmentalism 2nd London: Pion Primo search Potter, R.B., Binns, A., Elliott, J.A., Smith, D. (2004) Geographies of Development 2nd Pearson, Prentice Hall Primo search Wolf, E.R. (1992) Europe and the People without History University of California Press Primo search Young, S (1993) The Politics of the Environment Manchester: Baseline Books Primo search
Recommended Background
Dobson, A (1990) Green Political Thought Unwin Hyman Primo search Hodder, R (2000) Development Geography London: Routledge Primo search Preston, P (1999) Development Theory Oxford: Blackwell Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 4