Critical Political Ecology/Economy: From Extraction to Regeneration

Schools of Public Engagement: Milano

Non-Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Graduate Course
Degree Students
Political Ecology/Economy
Fall 2024
Taught By: Faculty TBA
Section: A

CRN: 16359

Credits: 3

This course provides the foundational knowledge for the study of political ecology and political economy from a critical, interdisciplinary, global and Earth system perspective. It proceeds from the question: What background and tools are necessary to rigorously examine the intertwined ecological and economic crises of late capitalism and to substantiate viable alternatives? By critically intervening at the intersections of political ecology, political economy, environmental science, development studies, environmental geography, and subaltern history, it provides the theoretical, historical and empirical basis to analyze how resoure extraction and transnational capital circulation disrupts Earth system processes (geosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere). Yet in analyzing the making of the world-system economy/ecology of Euroamerican colonial capitalist modernity, it also charts the histories of alternative social ecologies. On the one hand, the course traces the genealogy of dominant ideas, theories, texts and institutions, where the colonial capitalist and imperial reorganization of world ecology is enabled by epistemological, governance and management systems that undermine Earth processes, ecosystems, biotic and human communities, thereby creating an ecological rift. This provides the background knowledge and conceptual tools needed to substantiate a rigorous critique of dominant ideas, institutions, theories, texts, models, institutions and assumptions. Assumptions subject to critique include, for instance, the human/nature divide, nature as resources, the rational actor model, the naturalization of self-interest, scarcity, and endless growth, utility maximization, technocratic management, and the supposed inevitability of modernization and developmentalism. This in relation to historical and contemporary issues like the coloniality of mainstream conservation and natural resource management, the extraction and plantation economy, the industrialization (and green industrialization) of economic sectors, the recursive expansion of extractivist frontiers, and the proliferation of commodity and supply chains at the expense of biogeochemical cycles and diverse biotic and cultural communities. Grounded in interdisciplinary Earth systems complexity science and radical ecological economics, the course thus deconstructs the genealogy of mainstream paradigms like (neo)classical political economy, modernization, ecological modernization, neoliberalism, green neoliberalism, and developmentalism (including sustainable development). On the other hand, the course foregrounds the subjugated histories of ideas and movements that in defending territories and communities, have sought to repair ecological rifts upon principles of regenerative and cooperative place-based autonomy, dignity, equity, and resilience. This is a living history that serves to substantiate viable alternatives and transformative paradigms like (eco)feminism,(eco)Marxism; postcolonialism, decolonialism, Indigenous, post-development, degrowth, post-extractivism, and environmental/climate justice.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: Milano (MIL)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 15

Add/Drop Deadline: September 9, 2024 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 17, 2024 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Open*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 4:10pm EDT 6/19/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Friday
Times: 4:00pm - 5:50pm
Building: TBD
Room: TBD
Date Range: 8/30/2024 - 12/6/2024