Course lecturer: Dr. Fabio de Castro
Tel./mail: 020 25 3257 /
Period: 9 January – 27 February 2017
Time: Monday 13:00 – 16:00 hours
Course load: 6 EC
Max. participants: 15


Local communities and nature have always influenced each other in how social and environmental patterns are shaped in rural Latin America. The myriad of rural societies and their patterns of resource use and management we see today are an outcome of, among other things, the interplay between the environmental and social attributes in particular contexts.

This course aims at introducing the diversity of local management systems in different regions in Latin America, and to addresses recent trends and their social, economic, and environmental implications. Particular focus will be given to how local and external factors influence local management systems and to the role of different actors (e.g., state, NGOs, experts, companies) in influencing the political strategies of local communities in the conservation and agrarian agendas. The course will have an interdisciplinary theoretical perspective, and will address methodological and policy issues regarding research in and practice of local management systems in the region. The lectures will be focused on rural communities but urban-related initiatives such as urban community gardens and collective adaptive responses to climate change in urban settings. I expect you to leave this course with a general understanding of key issues characterizing local management systems in Latin America, to be able to address processes of transformation of those systems, and to relate it to environmental, economic and social implications in the region.

Form of instruction and assessment
Assessment will be based on participation in class and a final paper (5000 words). For each class, the student will be expected to read 3-4 articles and be prepared to discuss them in class.

The readings load of approx. 800 pages includes required literature for each lecture (approx. 500 pp) and extra literature chosen by the student for a final paper (approx. 300 pp).

Picture: Agnóstico fotográfico. Santo Tomas Chichicastenango, Quiche, Guatemala (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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