Module Identifier GG10310  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Mark J Whitehead  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Miss Kate Edwards, Dr Heidi V Scott  
Pre-Requisite Normally A or AS level Geography.  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Hours. 20 x 1 hr lectures.  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours Written exam. Answer one question from each section, four questions set in each100%
Supplementary Exam2 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 Lists

** Recommended Text
Blaut, J.M. (1995) The Colonizer's Model of the World: Geographical Diffusionism and Eurocentric History Guildford Publications
Carter, N. (2001) The Politics of the Environment: Ideas, Activism and Policy. Cambridge University Press 0521469945
Dickenson, J. et al (1996) A Geography of the Third World London: Routledge
Dobson, A. The Green Reader Andre Deutsch 0233986537
O'Riordan, T (1981) Environmentalism 2nd. London: Pion 085086092X
Potter, R.B., Binns, A., Elliott, J.A., Smith, D. (2004) Geographies of Development 2nd. Pearson, Prentice Hall 0130605697
Wolf, E.R. (1992) Europe and the People without History University of California Press
Young, S (1993) The Politics of the Environment Manchester: Baseline Books 1897626045
** Recommended Background
Dobson, A (1990) Green Political Thought Unwin Hyman 0044452454
Hodder, R (2000) Development Geography London: Routledge
Preston, P (1999) Development Theory Oxford: Blackwell


This module is at CQFW Level 4