Friday, July 22, 2016

Introducing PG 383: Politics of Natural Resources

This course will be offered only once by Professor Riitta Koivumaeki:
Fall 2016, Tuesday/Thursday at 2pm

Interested in wars over natural resources, international cooperation on climate change, or the power of recycling? This course explores these and other pressing topics through a broad overview of the politics of natural resources. We begin the course by examining how oil and other minerals influence political and economic development, and why mineral rich countries appear more likely to engage in war and conflict. We then turn our focus to other resources, namely water, forests, and clean air, and evaluate the role that governments and international cooperation play in ensuring access to them. The course culminates in a section on politics of climate change at the local and international level.

In addition to short response papers, the course includes a policy paper on a topic of your choosing. These assignments, together with various in-class exercises, will help you develop and sharpen your research and critical thinking skills. By the end of the semester, you will be able to identify key theories of resource politics and apply them to real-world cases. You will also possess the tools necessary to continue to explore politics and governance of natural resources in an analytical and systematic manner.