737317 Political ecology of resource use

Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Pichler, Melanie
Offered in
Wintersemester 2022/23
Languages of instruction


The extraction and use of natural resources are associated with multiple conflicts as costs and benefits of increasingly intensive resource use are unequally distributed – both socially (between different social groups) and spatially (between the Global South and Global North). Political ecology theories and methods help to understand these conflicts in addressing political-economic structures and processes, actors and power relations in national settings as well as on a global level, but also take into account the interests and (resistance) strategies of local actors. The seminar presents different approaches to political ecology (Third World Political Ecology, feminist political ecology, neo-Marxist and postcolonial approaches, etc.) and combines them with concrete examples of contested resource use (e.g., agriculture fossil and renewable energy, mining, energy crops, etc.).

Previous knowledge expected

Basic skills in social science or interdisciplinary approaches on resource use.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

Participants are able to
-understand the complex connections between natural resource use and its unequal distribution of costs and benefits,
-differentiate between political ecology approaches and other approaches of analysing natural resource management,
-apply political ecology to concrete empirical conflicts and develop own research questions .
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.