Introduction to Global Development and Sustainability

This course introduces participants to the main concepts and key issues in global development and sustainability. The course outlines first how different perceptions of global development and sustainability have been portrayed in development thought and theories. Second, it addresses structures and processes of the world system that constitute obstacles to achieving sustainable transformations in terms of, for example, inequality and climate change. Third, it looks at different solutions that are offered to resolve the problems of unsustainability and underdevelopment. The crosscutting theme of the course is to map conditions for achieving sustainable economic, social, political and environmental transformations globally.

5 ECTS Credits — Studies start 28 October 2019 — University of Helsinki

Photo by Ossi Ollinaho, Coimbra, Portugal, 2011
Photo by Ossi Ollinaho, Coimbra, Portugal, 2011

Course dates

28 October 2019 – 15 December 2019

Registration period

1 September 2019 – 29 October 2019

Coordinating university

University of Helsinki

Instructors

Ossi Ollinaho

Credits

5 ECTS

Course dates: 28.10.2019 - 15.12.2019
Registration dates: 01.09.2019 - 13.10.2019
Coordinating university: University of Helsinki
Responsible teacher: Ossi Ollinaho,
Credits: 5 ECTS

Course summary

This course introduces participants to the main concepts and key issues in global development and sustainability. The course outlines first how different perceptions of global development and sustainability have been portrayed in development thought and theories. Second, it addresses structures and processes of the world system that constitute obstacles to achieving sustainable transformations in terms of, for example, inequality and climate change. Third, it looks at different solutions that are offered to resolve the problems of unsustainability and underdevelopment. The crosscutting theme of the course is to map conditions for achieving sustainable economic, social, political and environmental transformations globally.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • analyze different concepts of global development and sustainability
  • understand global structures and processes of the world system and therefore the conditions for global sustainable economic, social, political and environmental development.
  • evaluate solutions that are offered to resolve global problems related to development and sustainability

Learning methods

The course is consisted of three two-week modules and a one-week feedback/course assessment module at the end of the course. Each module starts with a short on-line introductory lecture, which is accompanied with a power point presentation. The first module contains a group discussion based on readings. The second and the third modules are interconnected and completed through a two-part individual essay.

Study materials

Selected chapters of the books:

Nightingale, Andrea J. ed. 2019. Environment and Sustainability in a Globalizing World. New York, NY : Routledge.

Peet, Richard & Elaine Hartwick. 2015. Theories of development : contentions, arguments, alternatives, Third edition. New York, NY: The Guilford Press

A documentary film:

Princes of the Yen: Central Banks and the Transformation of the Economy, https://vimeo.com/110710752, A film by Michael Oswald.

Other academic articles and book chapters (to be announced later); independent search for materials from academic databases and internet.

Assessment

Grading: group discussion accept/fail, essays 0-5. The teacher will actively participate in the group discussion, giving feedback on issues raised. Students will formulate their own individual learning objectives at the start of the course. At the end of the course, students will assess both the course objectives and their own learning objectives.

Virtual Studies Course Catalogue