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This interdisciplinary unit can be taken as an elective for students with backgrounds including (but not limited to) Asian Studies, Ecology (biological sciences), Economics, English, Fine and Performing Arts, History, International Relations, Law, Management, Politics and Public Policy, Psychology, Sociology and Social Work. Please consult the unit coordinator for information.


Political ecology is a diverse area of study, professional practice and activism that integrates issues of justice, sustainability and development. Political ecology seeks explanations of root causes and transformative solutions in relation to environmental problems. Analysing nature and society as one system and employing case studies from around the world, you will: investigate environmental concerns in light of questions about political power; examine the political economy of food, water and energy resources; unpack global power relations between ‘developed' and 'developing' societies; and chart paths towards sustainable, equitable and decent futures. The skills of inquiry and knowledge you develop are applicable to careers in government, the private sector and civil society at the intersection of development and environment concerns.

Summary 2020

Unit name Political Ecologies of Development
Unit code KGA308
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences
Discipline Geography and Spatial Sciences

A/Prof A Davison

Teaching staff

Level Advanced
Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? No



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* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit you will be able to:

1. inquire into questions of political ecology (i.e. social power in environmental systems) to develop integrated, evidence-based knowledge about justice, sustainability and development;

2. investigate the political ecology of energy, food and water resources in diverse places to identify root problems and transformative paths towards just and sustainable forms of development;

3. communicate political ecology insights through critical, reflective, dialogical, creative, persuasive and ethical forms of academic and professional writing and speaking.




    (25% level 200 KGA) or (25% level 200 in Social Science or Life Science or Environmental Science or Humanities or Law or Education or Design or Business)


Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:


Teaching Pattern

2-hr seminar and 1-hr tutorial weekly


AT1: Critical Inquiry Portfolio  (40%)

AT2: Research Project (35%)

AT3 Take-Home Examination (25%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Information about any textbook requirements will be available from mid November.


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