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Environment, ‘development’ and society: Decolonising the ‘anthropocene’

Are we all doomed? Are we all in it together? What kind of a world are we ‘developing’ for our fellow humans and our descendants?

The climate is changing on planet earth. For many people this means that the lifestyles that they have lived for generations are under threat. Not all people are threatened equally, however. Many people do not have access to the resources that would enable them to more adequately respond to environmental harms.

The unequal relationships that exist today can be traced back to the very histories of countries like Britain, especially its role in violently occupying colonies in places as far afield as the Caribbean, India and Hong Kong.

The Industrial Revolution itself, which was fuelled by slavery and colonialism, was a key contributor to environmental harm. And yet the pollution emitted during industrialisation helped some people to amass huge fortunes.

Clearly, then, some groups of people have contributed more than others to the causes of environmental change. To better understand why it is that some people don’t have the resources to respond to harmful environmental change, or why they are more vulnerable to it, we have to look at these global histories of inequality.

On this course we explore these issues, and more, by looking at various case studies and applying decolonial, anti-capitalist and feminist theory to help develop a critical analysis of contemporary environmental and development situations.


Module Director:


Timing and CATS

This module will run in the Autumn term of the 2016/17 academic year, and is worth 15 CATS