Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3294: Land, Power and Politics: a critical problem-based approach

This module descriptor refers to the 2023/4 academic year.


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

This module ran during term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Nick Kirsop-Taylor (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


Society is increasingly coming to understand how resolving the major challenges of the ‘anthropocene’, from the climate crisis or the Holocene extinction, increasingly comes down to questions about land, land use change and how we manage land for food, the environment and climate. However, what’s often missing from this discourse is the that ‘land is power’, and the exercise of power lies in the political. In this module you learn about critical contemporary controversies in the politics of land and power through cases such as land grabbing in sub-Saharan Africa, apportioning indigenous land rights in the Amazon, and the future of food, technology, and land. You will initially gain an understanding of key theoretical debates and discourse illuminated through historical and international case studies before moving onto a number of important contemporary critical perspectives from the feminist, post-colonial, collapsologist and other perspectives. 

In weekly seminars you will be set the challenge of solving a number of contemporary ‘problems’ in this field; such as ‘designing truth and reconciliation commission in post-colonial states, or ‘designing ‘just’ small island ‘loss and damage’ climate reparation programmes’. These seminars will be geared towards role-playing the ‘consultancy experience’ to give you important understanding and learning about transferable employment skills and opportunities in the professional world of consultancy. These will include important learning about the structure, form, and expectations of problem solving through problem-based learning approaches, whilst also building your skills for addressing critical contemporary ‘problems’ through problem-based learning.

There are no previous requirements for this module.

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