This course will introduce students to some of the main themes related to environment and development, and natural resources, and how they relate to peace and conflict.

 We will discuss the concepts of global environmental change, sustainable development, and environmental security, and natural resource conflicts. Specific focus will be given to Climate Change, and to the different approaches to development inside the sustainable development discourse. We will look at two environment and development discourses, namely Malthusianism and political economy, and how they lead to very different understandings of the supposed root causes, and of the proposed solutions to the environmental crisis we are facing today.

 Together, we will examine two case studies that shed light on how world views influence our understanding of complex phenomena. Specifically, we will look at the Rwanda genocide and at the recent Syrian conflict, and how environmental dimensions are used to “explain” these horrible realities of the recent past. These case studies will serve to bring all the concepts of this course together and will hopefully allow us to draw some general conclusions.