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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Political Economy of the Environment
Module Code CM5991
School School of Communications
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Trish Morgan
Semester 2: Trish Morgan
Autumn: Trish Morgan
Module TeachersTrish Morgan
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module provides a theoretical and conceptual grounding in key environmental issues, as viewed through the lenses of political economy and critical environmental studies. The module takes a necessarily structural approach that considers scalar inequalities and contradictions in contexts of environmental crisis. The module introduces key political economy and structural approaches to the economy/society relationship, providing students with a grounding in contemporary critical approaches to sustainable societal development. The module further utilises the political economy approach to interrogate the nature/society relationship. Taking a structural approach addresses contemporary issues of planetary overshoot, unsustainable development, climate justice and debate on alternative economic models such as degrowth and the circular economy. It interrogates the consequences of spatial and temporal ‘fixes’, where crises are moved around in space and time rather than resolved, and analyses the uneven geographic impact of ‘fixes’ on the environment and populations. It considers the environmental ethics of media production, to include issues of ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ electronic waste. Case studies throughout the module help ground these macro-level concepts to practical examples, including soil, CFCs, trees, lawns, rivers, and artificial intelligence.

Learning Outcomes

1. Understand a range of theoretical perspectives pertaining to the economy/society relationship
2. Develop critical insights on contemporary economic growth models, and their alternatives
3. Understand the impacts of societal processes on the earth system
4. Understand the role of spatial and temporal fixes to crisis, and the impact of fixes on the environment and populations
5. Develop competencies in critical analysis of the environment/society relationship

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Independent Study101No Description
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

    Other Resources

    Programme or List of Programmes
    MAPMA in Political Communication

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