Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitSustainability Environment and Society
OfferedClayton First semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Craig Thorburn


Previously coded IDA4230


This unit introduces student to principles and analytical methods of political ecology, and its application to analysing sustainable development and natural resources management. The first part of the unit introduces the theoretical foundations for the political ecology approach and explores its application to the issue of sustainable development. The second part of the unit uses the political ecology approach from an international comparative perspective for analysing development conflicts in a range of environmental sectors in international and Australian contexts, including farming and pastoralism, water, mining, fisheries and forests.


On completion of the unit students will be able to:

  1. understand the theoretical underpinnings of political ecology;
  2. employ a range of analytical frameworks for understanding the links between political economy of development and ecological change;
  3. understand a wide range of problems and conflicts associated with natural resources management and sustainability;
  4. research and analyse development projects using political ecology and comparative frameworks;
  5. analyse local development problems in their regional contexts and their links to global processes and institutions;
  6. understand and have a critical appreciation of alternative approaches to sustainable development.


Reading diary (200 words per week): 30%
Group presentation (20 - 25 mins per group): 20%
Individual research project (2500 words): 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

2 hour seminar and 1 hour tutorial per week