Geopolitics of natural ressources

ldvlp2325  2020-2021  Louvain-la-Neuve

Geopolitics of natural ressources
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information below is subject to change, in particular that concerning the teaching mode (presential, distance or in a comodal or hybrid format).
5 credits
30.0 h
Hinojosa Valencia Leonith (compensates Legrand Vincent); Legrand Vincent;
Main themes
This part of the course aims to examine the role that social, economic, political and cultural factors play in the geopolitics of natural resources and development and is organized in two sections. Drawing on concepts from Political Ecology, Ecological Economics and Development Studies, the first section provides the foundations to understand the main topics that explain the geopolitics of natural resources and its implications for sustainable development. The interplay of these topics is illustrated by a review of socio-environmental conflicts observed in and development strategies pursued by low and medium-income countries. The second section analyses the developmental possibilities, risks and threats arising out of the current distribution and management of natural resources, notably land and water, in relation to food security and sustainable agriculture. This section discusses the policy and institutional options that countries from the Global South can pursue in order to influence the global governance of natural resources.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 After completing this part of the course students will:
  • Be knowledgeable of the main concepts of Political Ecology, Ecological Economics and Development Studies that underpin the geopolitics of natural resources.
  • Be able to critically discuss the relationship between the access, distribution and control of natural resources and development outcomes from an inter-disciplinary perspective.
  • Be able to analyse natural resources policy with focus on land and water.
In addition to developing analytical skills, students are expected to strengthen their capacity for team work, essay-writing and oral presentation by integrating knowledge from multiple disciplines and approaches to development.
  • Portefeuilles de lectures, liens vers ressources électroniques et vidéo et présentations PowerPoint des enseignants mis à disposition des étudiants en ligne sur Moodle.
Partie de cours LEONITH HINOJOSA - lectures obligatoires :
*Abeysinghe, A, Craft, B, Tenzing, J (2016). L’Accord de Paris et les PMA : L’analyse des résultats de la COP21 au regard des positions des PMA. IIED, London.
*Ali Douai, Gaël Plumecocq (2017). L'économie écologique. Paris : La Découverte.
*Badeeb R.A., Lean H.H., Clark J. (2017). The evolution of the natural resource curse thesis: A critical literature survey. Resources Policy 51: 123-134.
*Bebbington A.; Hinojosa L.; Bebbington D.; Burneo M.L. and Warnaars X. (2008) Contention and ambiguity: mining and the possibilities of development. Development and Change, 39(6): 965-992.
*Costanza, R., Norgaard, R., Daly, H., Goodland, R., & Cumberland, J. (2007). An Introduction to Ecological Economics (e-book). Accessible at
*FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO (2017). The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017. Building resilience for peace and food security. Rome, FAO.
*Le Billon, P. (2004). The Geopolitical Economy of 'Resource Wars.' Geopolitics 9(1): 1-28.
*Martinez-Alier, J. (2002). The environmentalism of the poor. Paper prepared for the conference on: The Political Economy of Sustainable Development: Environmental Conflict, Participation and Movements. UNRISD, Geneva.$file/MartinezAlier.pdf
*NAP Global Network (2019).
Teaching materials
  • Portefeuilles de lectures, liens vers ressources électroniques et vidéo et présentations PowerPoint des enseignants mis à disposition des étudiants en ligne sur Moodle.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Minor in Development and Environment

Master [120] in Geography : General

Master [120] in Anthropology

Master [120] in Sociology

Master [120] in Population and Development Studies

Master [120] in Public Administration