Universität Wien
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290165 PS Contested Resources, Rural Livelihoods and Globalisation (2019S)

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 29 - Geographie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 20 participants
Language: English



25.06.2019, 9-13 h, Conference room (NIG, 5th floor, C520)
26.06.2019, 9-13 h, Conference room (NIG, 5th floor, C520)
27.06.2019, 9-13 h, Conference room (NIG, 5th floor, C520)
28.06.2019, 9-13 h, Conference room (NIG, 5th floor, C520)
29.06.2019, 9-13 h, Conference room (NIG, 5th floor, C520)


Aims, contents and method of the course

The course discusses the role of natural resources in development in the global South. Resources like water, land, forest, biodiversity and livestock, central to rural livelihoods in Asia and Africa, are the focus. Natural resources based rural livelihoods, like those of farmers, forest dwellers and livestock owners, are simultaneously local and global. The contested use of natural resources plays out at the level of ‘everyday politics’, that is, “…the debates, conflicts, decision, and co-operation among individuals, groups and organisations regarding the control, allocation and use of resources and the values and ideas underlying these activities.” (Kerkvliet 1990:11). The everyday natural resources use, management and goverance practices are increasingly embedded in processes of cultural, political, economic and ecological globalisation. Global dynamics manifest at the local level; local dynamics shape the global level. It is this connection and interaction that the course explores. Taking an interdisciplinary perspective, the course draws on political economy and political ecology approaches to natural resources, as well as the broad and diverse field of the analysis of natural resources management institutions.

Examples/case studies discussed in the course range from social processes around the building of large dams (displacement, forest submergence, social movement resistance at local and global level, policy responses); the bundles of rights and access relations to land and forest for different groups of people, and their gender dimension; the negotiations between sovereign states about transboundary resources like rivers and wildlife reserves; the strength and limitations of ‘payment for ecosystem services’ to achieve ecological sustainability and combat climate change; how migration affects agrobiodiversity conservation; the strength and limitations of community based natural resources management approaches; aspects of global environmental governance such as intellectual property rights in seeds and human rights approaches to water; and the relevance of climate change for rural livelihoods.

Assessment and permitted materials

The following requirements must be fulfilled to pass the course:
- Completion of three written assignments in the preparation period of the course
- Regular attendance and active participation (presence in at least 80% of the sessions)
- Writing of a term paper of max. 4000 words

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Attendance in at least 80% of the sessions. Sick absence with a medical sickness certificate of more than 20% of the sessions can be compensated with additional assignments,
The three written assignments before the course do not count for the mark, but they will have to be passed with a minimum grade of 4. The term paper counts for 70% of the final mark. The term paper is to be submitted by 12 July 2019. During the class sessions each particpant will individually present on one of the pre-course assignments (30% of the mark). Both presentation and term paper are marked individually. Presentation and term paper are passed with a minimum grade of 4.
Grading scheme:
100 - 86 % - grade 1
85 - 71 % - grade 2
70 - 56 % - grade 3
55 - 41 % - grade 4
40 - 0 % - grade 5

Examination topics

There is no separate written or oral examination for this course. The course is passed when all components of assessment (the assignments, presence/active participation, presentation and term paper are passed.

Reading list

All reading materials will be available in Moodle and/or in the reserve list shelf at the department library. The reading list will be posted on Moodle not later than 1 May 2019.

Lecture notes, including extracts from the papers on the reading list, will be prepared and be available on Moodle not later than May 2019.

The pre-course assignments will be posted on Moodle not later than 1 May 2019.

Association in the course directory

(MG-S3-PI) (MG-S4-PI) (MG-S6-PI) (L2-b3) (L2-b-zlv) (L2-FW)
Master IE: VM3, VM6

Last modified: Tu 05.03.2019 11:08