Universität Wien FIND
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400012 SE From Malthus to global sustainable development: Populationand human wellbeing (2021S)

SE Theory for Doctoral Candidates

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. 15 participants
Language: English



The course will be held digital.

11. März Introduction
!!! Please note the changed time slot: 17:00-18:30 (see emails and Moodle) !!!

18. März 14-18:00 Block 1

19. Mai 14-18:00 mid-term discussions 1
!! 20. Mai 14-18:00 mid-term discussions 2 WILL NOT BE HELD AND MOVED TO:
26. Mai 14-18:00 mid-term discussions 2

23.Juni 14-18:00 Presentations 1
24. Juni 14-18:00 Presentations 2


Aims, contents and method of the course

Goal and Contents:
The participants shall become familiar with the classical readings on population and population carrying capacity which dominated the population debate even before Malthus (including writings by Plato) up to the current literature on planetary boundaries and population in sustainable development. We will study how population trends impact environmental change including climate change (also considering the effects of consumption and technology) and how already unavoidable climate change will likely influence the future wellbeing of the human population. In doing so we will put special emphasis on differential vulnerability to environmental change

The seminar essentially consists of three blocks. In the first block the basic concepts, theories and analytical approaches will be introduced and jointly discussed. In a second block the participants will do their own readings and report about them as a basis for group discussions. In a final block they will apply these concepts to the assessments of the longer term future trends a country/region of choice on the basis of the SSP (Shared Socioeconomic Pathways) Scenarios which are now widely used in the global environmental change research community.

Assessment and permitted materials

1. Active participation in the discussions (10 percent)
2. Quality of presentations (30 percent)
3. Quality of written annotated version of the presentation with clear definition of sources and methods used, discussion of results and references (60 percent)

Important Grading Information:

If not explicitly noted otherwise, all requirements mentioned in the grading scheme must be met.
If a required task is not fulfilled, this will be considered as a discontinuation of the course. In that case, the course will be graded as ‘fail’ (5), unless there is a major and unpredictable reason for not being able to fulfill the task on the student's side (e.g. a longer illness).
In such a case, the student may be de-registered from the course without grading.
Whether this exception applies is decided by the lecturer.
If any requirement of the course has been fulfilled by fraudulent means, be it for example by cheating at an exam, plagiarizing parts of a written assignment or by faking signatures on an attendance sheet, the student's participation in the course will be discontinued, the entire course will be graded as ‘not assessed’ and will be entered into the electronic exam record as ‘fraudulently obtained’.
The plagiarism-detection service (Turnitin in Moodle) can be used in course of the grading: Details will be announced by the lecturer.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Only students who give a presentation in Block 2 (literature) and Block 3 (SSP country application) and deliver a written documentation of it will receive a positive grade.

Active participation: Students are expected to participate in all sessions and also actively follow the presentations that other students give.
A maximum of one missed sessions will be tolerated. In the case of important personal reasons to miss more sessions the instructor can grant special permission.
Assessment criteria for the above stated three components of assessment:
For participation in discussions the student will receive 0-10 points
For the quality of the oral presentation the student will receive 0-30 points
For the quality of the written documentation the student will receive 0-60 points
Only if the student scores a total of over 50 points there will be a positive grade.

Examination topics

Beyond the above-described requirements there will be no examination.

Reading list

The Reading list will be communicated in the first lesson.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 03.05.2021 18:09