• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Environmental Management & Development
  • Areas of interest Environmental Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr John McCarthy
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2018
    See Future Offerings

This course provides students with an understanding and capacity to use key, critical social science practices applied in analysing environment and development problems and natural resource policy. These include common property theory; sociology of the state and the environment; socio-legal approaches to natural resources policy; and other political ecology frameworks. The course introduces students to key conceptual (theoretical) readings together with case studies where these approaches are applied. Students learn to apply these frameworks to analyse the political aspects of environmental change and to evaluate interventions to deal with them.  Students also perform political ecology analyses of particular natural resource problems in small groups.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

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

    * Explain key theoretical social science frameworks for looking at environmental and development problems

    * Compare and assess the comparative value and usefulness of different conceptual approaches from policy sciences, political ecology, and other knowledge areas for understanding particular issues or problems.

    * Apply these frameworks to analyse policy issues, preferably by combining these conceptual models in order to approach environmental policy and practical applied issues.

Indicative Assessment

Through graduate seminars and assessment tasks, students have an opportunity to apply these approaches to the critical assessment of environmental and development problems. Emphasis is on providing students with the chance to develop proficiency in the use of the conceptual models and to develop analytical skills to understand the social dimensions of contemporary resource management and development policy issues. The course is assessed on the basis of student performance in four modes of assessment: Seminar facilitation, including preparing critical questions for class discussion; a survey of critical concepts; and a final project essay.   

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Contact hours 3 hours per week; study and assignment preparation 5 hours per week.

Prescribed Texts

Paul Robbins. (2012) Political Ecology A Critical Introduction. Blackwell (2nd Edition).

Preliminary Reading

  • Tony Fitzpatrick (ed) (2011) Understanding the environment and social policy Policy Press
  • Connelly, J, G Smith, D Benson and C Saunders (2012).Politics and the Environment From Theory to Practice Routledge, Oxon,

  • Paul Robbins, (2010) Environment and Society: A Critical Introduction Wiley-Blackwell



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $5160
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7890 23 Jul 2018 30 Jul 2018 31 Aug 2018 26 Oct 2018 In Person N/A
10246 23 Jul 2018 30 Jul 2018 31 Aug 2018 26 Oct 2018 In Person N/A

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