20 Credits AUTUMN

Aims/Description: From the atmosphere to Antarctic ice sheets, the Earth has been fundamentally transformed by human activity: we now inhabit a `human planet¿. At the same time, from mining and agriculture to modern patterns of resource consumption, humankind has become dependent on the very activities that have caused these transformations.  Far from being automatic or inevitable, these transformations are deeply political on multiple levels ¿ in their causes, in their consequences, and in the many arguments and differences over how to respond to them.  This module will introduce students to some of this `Planet Politics¿. It will consider questions such as:  Are we on the verge of a planetary ecological crisis?  Is capitalism the problem, or the solution?  Are there just too many people?  Is meaningful international environmental cooperation possible?  What are the vested interests obstructing change? What forms of social resistance are appropriate?  What is `environmental justice¿?  Examining both key environmental and resource issues and the main approaches to studying them, the module asks some of the biggest questions about life: how should we live, and what should we do?

Restrictions on availability: Restricted to students studying Single or Dual Degrees in Politics.

Staff Contact: SELBY JAN
Teaching Methods: Lectures, Seminars, Problem solving, Independent Study
Assessment: Course work

Information on the department responsible for this unit (Politics and International Relations):

Departmental Home Page
Teaching timetable


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

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Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK