Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC3103: The Resource Paradox: Blessing or Curse?

This module descriptor refers to the 2022/3 academic year.

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.


NQF Level 6
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Mrs Deborah McFarlane (Lecturer)





Available via distance learning


In this interdisciplinary module you will look at some of the social, economic and political ramifications of varied processes of resource extraction around the world. This module seeks to situate these forms of extraction within a broader nexus of security and development to go beyond dichotomous discussion about if these industries promote or impede ‘development’ and instead question how varied practices around the world challenge and complicate our understanding of what development is, how it happens and what it means in the first place.  Natural resources drive the economies and technologies of the developed world but they also have a huge impact on developing societies. The challenges associated with extractive industries have different manifestations and complexities in different locations. However, the conflicts that they are involved in have implications for conflict between and within nations on a global scale. The international community is deeply implicated in the complex political crises that can emerge not only because it drives extractive industries but also because of the global governance mechanisms through which a wide range of actors engage in local contexts.


No specialist knowledge, skills or experience are required to take this module. It is suitable for specialist and non-specialist students. The module is suitable for students studying Politics, Geography, FCH and History. 

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