Postgraduate Course: Resource Politics and Development (PGSP11418)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course explores the intricate dynamics of resource-based transformations in the global south, and how they are implicated in socio-political contestations at the local, national, and global level. Focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa, the course aims to deepen students` skills and insights to critically examine, competing theoretical accounts of the intersections of natural resources and development; debates about the variety of policy responses aimed at promoting successful extraction and use of natural resources; and popular imaginaries and responses from various community and civil society activists, businesses, and state actors.
From the depths of the Niger Delta creeks in Nigeria to high-profile global campaigns such as `Publish What You Pay` and `No Dirty Gold`, the landscape of natural resource extraction and use in the global south remain entangled in a dynamic and complex web of politics:
- How are natural resources embedded in contentious politics?
- What can we learn about policy and governance responses?
- How does extractive politics intersect with policy responses to shape imaginaries and tools of popular mobilisation and collective action?
Drawing from the academic literature and the empirical research across Africa and other countries in the global south, this course explores the intricate dynamics of resource-based transformations, and how they are implicated in socio-political contestations at the local, national, and global level. The course aims to deepen students` skills and insights to critically examine, competing theoretical accounts of the intersections of natural resources and development; debates about the variety of policy responses aimed at promoting successful extraction and use of natural resources; and popular imaginaries and responses from various community and civil society activists, businesses, and state actors.
This will be a particularly attractive optional course for students in the MSc in International Development and the MSc in Africa and International Development; students from other programmes are also welcomed.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||The assessment will be based on: a 3000-word long essay, and a 1000-word short essay.
The essay will address one of several questions based on key themes and topics covered during the semester. Short essays will focus on case studies of specific resources - such as gold, diamond, petroleum, tropical commodities, and biofuels - and tease out some of the main issues and debates around the resource.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the conceptual and analytical undercurrents of the contested ideas and the concepts connecting resources, politics, and development.
- Apply knowledge and critical understanding of critical theories, concepts and principles to the practical policies and responses on resource-led development and politics at the local, national, and global level
- Analyse and appraise the implications of these ideas and policies for specific sectors, including minerals, oil, coal, and other fossil fuels, using skills and ideas gained from the course
- Develop critical analytical, writing, and communication skills to reach out to diverse audiences on resource politics and development
- Exercise informed independent thought and critical judgement for debates and policies associated with natural resources and development.
|Oppong, Nelson. "Between elite reflexes and deliberative impulses: oil and the landscape of contentious politics in Ghana." Oxford Development Studies 48.4 (2020): 329-344.|
Omeje, Kenneth, ed. Extractive economies and conflicts in the global south: multi-regional perspectives on rentier politics. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2013.
Watts, Michael John. "Hyper-Extractivism and the Global Oil Assemblage: Visible and Invisible Networks in Frontier Spaces." Our Extractive Age. Routledge, 2021. 205-248.
Riofrancos, Thea N. "Scaling democracy: Participation and resource extraction in Latin America." Perspectives on Politics 15.3 (2017): 678-696.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||By the end of the programme, students will be equipped with new skills in:
1. Synthesising and analysing empirical and theoretical material from a variety of sources
2. Examining, using and assessing evidence in support of explanatory and normative claims
3. Developing and evaluating arguments that take different kinds of social complexity into account
4. Exercising informed independent thought and critical judgment
|Course organiser||Dr Nelson Oppong
Tel: (0131 6)51 3493
|Course secretary||Mr Adam Petras