AG Kulturgeographie

MNF-Geogr-142: Political Ecology (HS)


As a research field political ecology can be situated between human geography and physical geography, between social science and environmental studies, or more generally, between the humanities and the natural science. Thereby, it provides useful interdisciplinary approaches to investigate the multifaceted and complex relations between humans and their environments. Robbins describes the specific political character of these approaches in contrast to their “apolitical“ siblings in classical ecology: "This is the difference between identifying broader systems rather than blaming proximate and local forces; between viewing ecological systems as power-laden rather than politically inert; and between taking an explicitly normative approach rather than one that claims the objective of disinterest" (Robbins 2012; 13).

The seminar’s structure is twofold: in a first step we get to know key concepts in political ecology by intensively reading and discussing some of its seminal texts. In a second step we develop small-scale research projects, that help us to see, understand and investigate the world through the perspectives of political ecology.

In addition to the mandatory seminar paper, respectively the take-home-exam (depending on your examination rules), students are required to moderate one of the seminar‘s reading sessions in small groups. Moreover, an active participation and a thorough preparation is requested.

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Please register on OLAT if you wish to participate in this course in the summer term 2019.
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