2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue
PIED3202 Land, Fuel and Agriculture
20 creditsClass Size: 30
Module manager: Professor Ray Bush
Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable
Year running 2019/20
This module is approved as a discovery module
Module summaryThe module explores the political economy of land and resources in the context of global scarcity. It focuses on the impact of mining and resource extraction and rural transformation for communities impacted by the global (and local) struggle for resources. The course highlights the inter-connectedness of international, national and local rural transformations in the Global South and how patterns of development impact rural-urban relations, resource allocation especially around mining, agriculture and development and the impact this has on affected communities. It explores critically contemporary development debates regarding what development means in the 21st century and how communities in the global south contest western development mantras of industrialisation, economic growth and so on.
ObjectivesThe aim of the module is to explore the political economy of land and resources in the context of global scarcity. There is also a focus on the impact of mining and resource extraction and rural transformation for communities impacted by the global (and local) struggle for resources. The course highlights the inter-connectedness of international, national and local rural transformations in the Global South and how patterns of development impact rural-urban relations and resource allocation especially around mining, agriculture and development and the impact this has on affected communities. It is a module that goes to the heart of the contemporary development debate: what does development mean in the 21st century – industrialisation, economic growth, increased manufacturing output and linked to this agricultural modernisation and the various repercussions of these economic transformations? Rural transformation, or the lack of it, continues to be a major issue for global development; what forms are agricultural modernisation taking, what are its impacts on and how does it link to patterns of urbanisation and resource extraction? The module explores these themes in the context of policy debates about the importance for countries in the global South to promote resource driven growth, the expectation that mining and agricultural modernization can create the conditions for sustainable development and resource based industrialisation. The module examines through case study analysis the expectations and realities of resource led growth, the consequences for communities affected by mining and agricultural modernization and the policy debate that rural transformation, strategies to improve food security and raw material extraction can deliver development. The course explores competing theoretical perspectives on agricultural modernization and patterns of resource development and its impact on a range of resources that include gold mining, oil extraction, food production and distribution and land grabs. Case studies will include country analysis of resource development, and underdevelopment especially but not solely in Africa and how relationships between the Global South and North impact on communities affected by mining and agricultural modernization, land grabs and processes of agricultural transformation in developing countries. Throughout the module students will be expected to examine the key theme of resource scarcity and extraction, surplus creation and appropriation, capitalist transformations, state policies and programmes for reform that often originate from international financial institutions. Student may be encouraged to adopt a country or resource case to look at a topic in depth and in preparation for their assessment.
To understand key themes in the character of the world economy and its impacts on development in countries in the global south with particular reference to ideas of resource led growth and rural modernisation
The module will begin with an overview of the character of late capitalism, the dimensions of contemporary capitalist crisis and how it has impacted on the global South. It will examine the policy debate about repeated optimism for economic growth in developing countries based on comparative advantage linked to pressure for resource based industrialisation and rural transformation. It will then examine key debates in agricultural modernisation, mining, oil exploration, contemporary land grabbing and rural (under)development; the consequences for rural communities impacted by mining and agricultural modernization interventions, the possibilities for resource based industrialisation in the age of scarcity – or perhaps more accurately phrased as a strategy for collective suicide as developing countries struggle to ‘catch up’ with industrial development in the global North thus furthering key contemporary trends of late capitalism related to heightened resource pressures and overuse and related climate effects. The module thus explores the debate about development broadly defined but in the context of resource exploitation and rural- urban (under)development. Cases of resource based industrialization, and the relationship with political conflict and transformation will be examined in Sub Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. Students will have the opportunity to examine the detail of relationships between global economic and political processes and local transformations and impacts that are usually, or not always, meditated by the state, corporations, international agencies and social movements. Thus in the case of food and agrarian transformation students will have the analytical tools to explore the actions of local, national and global actors involved in matters of rural development, land grab, bio fuels, food security and mineral led growth.
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Private study hours||180.00|
|Total Contact hours||20.00|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||200.00|
Private studyIndependent study facilitated by resources on the VLE and resources in the library. Students will also be required to conduct independent research into particular case studies and topic areas in preparation for an extended essay for the assessment. This will provide practice in writing extended pieces of work in preparation for their dissertation.
Opportunities for Formative FeedbackStudents progress will be monitored through seminar discussions, small group presentations and other discussion activities. Students will be assessed by writing a research report of 4,000 words.
Methods of assessment
|Assessment type||Notes||% of formal assessment|
|Report||1 x 4,000 End of Term Research Report||100.00|
|Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)||100.00|
Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated
Reading listThe reading list is available from the Library website
Last updated: 30/04/2019
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