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Environment and Development


= This is the description of 2013-2014. An updated version will follow soon. =

Admission requirements

This course is offered to students in the MA programme Asian Studies with a specialization in Southeast Asian studies. It is also accessible to students of the History of European Expansion and Globalisation and students of Asian Studies with a specialization in Politics, Society and Economy. Students who are interested in taking this course, but who are not admitted to one of the mentioned master programmes are requested to contact their co-ordinator of studies.


In this course some of the major themes within the broad and interdisciplinary field of ‘environment and development in Southeast Asia’ will be presented. These include forest use, biodiversity conservation, water as a resource, fisheries, tourism, land use transition and non-timber forest products. Styles of resource management will be another theme throughout the course. Attention will also be paid to the question how to study such complex themes and what is the appropriate scope and methodology? During every lecture a specific theme will be introduced often illustrated with a specific case study from Southeast Asia. The students are expected to read the literature for that lecture that will be discussed in the second part of the meeting in an interactive manner, through questions posed and issues raised by the students. These questions are to be submitted by e-mail before Tuesday 12.00 o’clock for the lecture on the next day.

Course objectives

Through the course the students will obtain a clear understanding on some of the major topics in the field of Environment and Development in Southeast Asia. This will also include some methodological aspects of the research within this body of knowledge. Students will be invited to critically reflect on the various types of literature used within the course. They will writing short statements on the literature and engage in discussions with other students. Each student will give an oral presentation on the research paper that he/she intends to write for this course.



Mode of instruction

Lectures and Seminar

Attendance and active participation is mandatory.

Course Load

Total = 140 hours, distributed a follows

  • Class attendance: 20 hours

  • General literature: 68 hours

  • Presentation: 8 hours

  • Term paper 50 hours

If a student wishes to expand his/her research paper, this can be accommodated through a more extensive research paper.

Assessment method

  • Performance in class: 50% for 5 EC and 25% for 10 EC

  • Final essay: 50% for 5 EC and 75% for 10 EC


Reading list

Selected readings from recent literature will be announced at the first meeting.

Contact information

Prof. dr. G.A. Persoon