This course will introduce students to the relations between the environment, natural resources, and peace and conflict.

We will discuss the concepts of Global Environmental Change, Sustainable Development, and Environmental Security. Specific focus will be given to Climate Change and Deforestation, and to the different approaches to development inside the sustainable development discourse. Environmental Security will be analyzed emphasizing the underlying neo-Malthusian ideas that still prevail in much of the literature.

Specifically, we will look at the linkages between natural resources and conflicts focusing not only on environmental scarcities, but also on the resource curse and resource abundance approaches to so-called “environmental conflicts”.

We will take an in depth look at the role of the environment and of natural resources for sustainable peace, and how natural resources can or could be used in initiating a peace process.

The students will examine the Rwanda genocide and the different approaches used to analyze and explain this conflict. This case study will serve to bring all the concepts of this course together and to draw general conclusions.