PDF for print    Find calendar

Advanced Study Course: Geopolitics and Natural Resources

Public Administration / global studies / International Development Studies / Politics and Administration / International Public Administration and Politics
master course
Teaching language

Tilmelding sker via stads selvbetjening indenfor annonceret tilmeldingsperiode, som du kan se på Studieadministrationens hjemmeside Når du tilmelder dig kurset, skal du være opmærksom på, om der er sammenfald i tidspunktet for kursusafholdelse og eksamen med andre kurser, du har valgt. Uddannelsesplanlægningen tager udgangspunkt i, at det er muligt at gennemføre et anbefalet studieforløb uden overlap. Men omkring valgfrie elementer og studieplaner som går ud over de anbefalede studieforløb, kan der forekomme overlap, alt efter hvilke kurser du vælger.

Registration through stads self-service within the announced registration period, as you can see on the Studyadministration homepage. When registering for courses, please be aware of the potential conflicts between courses or exam dates on courses. The planning of course activities at Roskilde University is based on the recommended study programs, which do not overlap. However, if you choose optional courses and/or study plans that goes beyond the recommended study programs, an overlap of lectures or exam da

Detailed description of content

Academic focus. The demand for and competition over natural resources have emerged as key topics in resource-rich developing countries and resource-consuming developed countries. Topics like land-grabbing, natural resource investments, renewable energy, sustainability and climate change have become deeply entangled with the appetite for resources. This has seen traditional geopolitical issues re-emerge in the form of struggles over resources and protection of the environment, with leading nation states and transnational companies having intensified their search for and claims to potential resource-rich areas. A new parallel institutional geopolitical architecture has also emerged that is slowly but steadily manifesting itself by trying to tame, control, govern and set standards for the regulation of scarce resources, land, investments and the climate, often in the name of sustainability.

This advanced study seminar takes stock of current debates within political economy and political ecology regarding natural resource extraction, renewable energy, investments and climate change: it traces the historical roots of these debates, scrutinizes the different kinds of arguments, explanations and ontologies underpinning the different opinions and conflicts, and examines emerging trends such as Climate change; Renewables, Natural Resource Investments; Corporate Social Responsibility and companies’ Social License to Operate, as well as resource conflicts; and new institutional geopolitical actors for regulation and standard setting. Expected Course Structure: 1. Introduction I: Why is natural resource extraction so contested? 2. Introduction II: New ways of understanding geopolitics: governance of natural resources beyond the state centric model 3. Theme 1a: Politics of Resource extraction and investments from Latin America (examples from Peru) 4. Theme 1b: Resource extraction, investments and rights: a relational model (East African examples) 5. Theme 1c: Resource extraction and the management of community conflict (examples from Columbia) 6. Theme 2a: Renewable resources: what are they and how are they related to extraction? 7. Theme 2b: Socio-economic risks: the case of the contested Tukana windmill investment and VESTAS 8. Theme 2c: Renewable resources: more clean and fair? 9. Theme 3a: Sustainability and climate change: from Al Gore to Donald Trump 10. Theme 3b: Sustainability and standards: how to make sustainability and create economic asset/value 11. Theme 3c: Sustainability, standards and power: understanding the power of standards from EITI to investments 12. Discussion café with selected NGOs or visit to key institution 13. Summary and exam preparation

Expected work effort (ects-declaration)

10 ECTS x 27 hours = 270 Estimated: 13 lectures x 2 =26 hours; Group work = 40; Newspaper assignment + exam 1= 78; Preparation 13 x 6 = 78; Exam 2 = 48; Total = 270 hours

Course material and reading list

As background/core literature: Stuart Kirsch. 2014. Mining Capitalism: the relationship between Corporations and their critics. University of California Press (several chapters from the book will be part of the curriculum) Peter Dicken (7 ediiton). 2015. Chapter 12: 'Making Holes in the Ground': The Extractive Industries. Pp. 395-422. In Peter Dicken, Global Shift: Mapping the Changing Contours of the World Economy. Sage. (background)

A full reading list will be provided consisting of a mixture of articles, reports, book chapters and other types of material that will be uploaded or stated on Moodle in good time before course start.

An additional reading list will also be uploaded on Moodle.

The pensum will be roughly 60 academic pages per lecture.

Evaluation- and feedback forms

There will be a mid-term evaluation of the course.

There will be feedback on group presentation.

There will be office hours for questions, as well as feedback on assignments after exams. Grades will be provided through eksamen.ruc.dk

For further details, see the study regulations and the course outline.

Administration of exams
ISE Studyadministration (ise-studyadministration@ruc.dk)
The responsible course lecturer
Lars Buur (lbuur@ruc.dk)
Type of examination

Type of examination Individual written portfolio.

The portfolio consists of 2 written products which are prepared in whole or in part during the course. For example, the products can be answers to exercises, papers for presentations, written feedback, written reflections or written assignments.

The preparation of the products may be subject to time limits.The total size of the portfolio may not exceed 28,800 characters in length, including spaces. The size specifications include the cover, table of contents, bibliography, figures and other illustrations, but exclude any appendices.

The requirements for the content and form of the portfolio and the length of the various products will be determined before the beginning of the course and published on the university’s website.

The portfolio is submitted in its entirety. The deadline for handing in the work will be published on the university’s homepage before the course begins. An overall assessment of the portfolio is given.

Assessment: 7-point grading scale.


Same as ordinary

Learning outcomes and assessment criteria
  • Specialised knowledge of a particular subject within International Development Studies

  • Advanced knowledge and understanding of academic and methodological debates related to the subject

  • Skills in choosing relevant theoriesin order investigate a problem area

  • Skills in selecting and critically applying relevant theories and methods

  • Skills in communicating and discussing theories and empirical results

  • Competency in assuming responsibility for and reflecting on own learning and that of fellow students by actively participating in group work, presentations and discussions

  • Competency in independently selecting and utilising academicliterature relevant to a specific research question

Overall content

The objective of the advanced study course is to provide students with advanced knowledge and understanding within a specific research area. At least two advanced study courses will be offered per semester:
Themes may include:

  • Modern theories about the state in the Global South
  • Governance and economic transition in a globalised world
  • Migration and citizenship
  • Policies and practices in global health
  • Social, political and economic aspects of climate change
Prerequisites for participation
Currently no data from curriculum.
Prerequisites for participation in the exam
Currently no data from curriculum.
Teaching and working methods

The course is based on lectures, but will also include other teaching and working methods such as group work, exercises, student presentations, peer feedback and field trips or guest lectures as well as other practical activities. During the course, a written assignment will be prepared which consists of a response to a question that has been given at the start of the course.

Type of course

Elective course

Exam code(s)
Exam code(s) : U40514
Last changed 14/02/2020

lecture list:

Show lessons for Subclass: 1 Find calendar (1) PDF for print (1)

Monday 10-02-2020 10:15 - 10-02-2020 12:00 in week 07
Natural Resources and Geo-Politics

Friday 14-02-2020 12:15 - 14-02-2020 14:00 in week 07
Natural Resources and Geo-Politics

Monday 17-02-2020 10:15 - 17-02-2020 12:00 in week 08
Natural Resources and Geo-Politics

Friday 21-02-2020 12:15 - 21-02-2020 14:00 in week 08
Natural Resources and Geo-Politics

Monday 24-02-2020 10:15 - 24-02-2020 12:00 in week 09
Natural Resources and Geo-Politics

Friday 28-02-2020 12:15 - 28-02-2020 14:00 in week 09
Natural Resources and Geo-Politics

Monday 02-03-2020 10:15 - 02-03-2020 12:00 in week 10
Natural Resources and Geo-Politics

Friday 06-03-2020 12:15 - 06-03-2020 14:00 in week 10
Natural Resources and Geo-Politics

Monday 09-03-2020 10:15 - 09-03-2020 12:00 in week 11
Natural Resources and Geo-Politics

Friday 13-03-2020 12:15 - 13-03-2020 14:00 in week 11
Natural Resources and Geo-Politics

Monday 16-03-2020 10:15 - 16-03-2020 12:00 in week 12
Natural Resources and Geo-Politics

Friday 20-03-2020 12:15 - 20-03-2020 14:00 in week 12
Natural Resources and Geo-Politics

Monday 23-03-2020 10:15 - 23-03-2020 12:00 in week 13
Natural Resources and Geo-Politics

Monday 06-04-2020 10:00 - 06-04-2020 10:00 in week 15
Exam hand-in: Natural Resources and Geo-Politics

Monday 10-08-2020 10:00 - 10-08-2020 10:00 in week 33
Re-exam hand-in: Natural Resources and Geo-Politics