Checking date: 04/05/2020

Course: 2019/2020

Geopolitics of the environment and natural resources
Study: Master in Geopolitics and Strategic Studies (346)

Coordinating teacher: MANUEL VALDES, CARLOS

Department assigned to the subject: Department of Humanities: Geography, Contemporary History and Art

Type: Electives
ECTS Credits: 3.0 ECTS


Competences and skills that will be acquired and learning results.
In addition to a series of general competences common in other subjects of this Master's degree, this subject aims to provide students with the following specific competences an learning results: - Ability to understand the main concepts, theories and approaches related to the study of the environment and natural resources and their importance in geopolitical processes. - Ability to understand methodologies for the analysis of the role played by the environment and natural resources in geopolitical processes. - Ability to understand and analyze the main conflicts, problems and current geopolitical challenges, both large-and small-scale, linked to the environment and natural resources. - Ability to search, select and synthesize diverse sources of information on the subjects of the subject, as well as tho assess them critically. - Ability to understand and prepare reports of geopolitical and strategic nature, related to the influence of the environment and the management of natural resources, according to the specific methods and techniques of this type of documents. -Ability to present information in public about the topics of this subject.
Description of contents: programme
I. Introduction 1. Basic concepts and theories 2. Methodological approaches. The importance of spatial scale in environment and natural resources analysis II. Geopolitics of environment 1. The political dimension of the environment: historical approach and current perspective 2. Globalization and the environment 3. Environmental problems in the 21st century: from biodiversity loss to climate change 4. Sustainability as a future scenario and geopolitical implications III. Natural resources and geopolitics 1. Natural resources as a geopolitical factor 2. The geostrategic role of resources throughout history 3. Geopolitics and food resources 4. Water and geopolitics 5. Geopolitics of energy: oil, natural gas and renewable energies 6. Wars over natural resources, an inevitable scenario?
Learning activities and methodology
Theoretical content classes will be combined with practical ones during the course. Classes will be complemented by individual tutoring (scheduled 2 hours per week). In addition, students will perform a series of practical works, both individually and in groups. Critical reading of texts: press articles, book chapters, reports and academic articles. This material will be used for discussion in class, as well as to expand and consolidate the correct knowledge of the subject. The continuous assessment will consist in case studies, including individual or in-group research papers and/or oral presentations, in-class debates.
Assessment System
Basic Bibliography
  • Adoumié, V. . Géopolitique du Monde Contemporain. Hachette Supérieur. 2014
  • Houghton, J. . Global Warming. The complete briefing. Cambridge University Press. 2015
  • Lorot, P. . Géopolitique des hydrocarbures La bataille de l¿énergie. . La Documentacion Française.. 2007
  • Méndez Gutiérrez del Valle, R. . Geopolítica de los recursos naturales. En J. Nogué y J. Romero, eds.: Las otras geografías. Tirant lo Blanch. 2006
  • Nogué Font, J.; Vicente Rufí, J. . Geopolítica y medio ambiente; en Nogué Font, J. y Vicente Rufí, J.: Geopolítica, identidad y globalización. Ariel. 2001
  • Parenti, C.. Tropic of Chaos. Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence. Nation Books. 2011
  • Rifkin, J. . La economía del hidrógeno. La creación de la red energética mundial y la redistribución del poder en la Tierra. Paidos. 2007
  • Shiva, V. . El mundo en el límite. En Giddens, A. & Hutton, W. (eds.): En el límite. La vida en el capitalismo global. Tusquets. 2001
  • Vanguardia Dossier. Agua. El desafío del siglo XXI. 2006. La Vanguardia
  • Vanguardia Dossier. La geopolítica de la energía. La Vanguardia. 2014
  • Vanguardia Dossier . ¿Un mundo sin petróleo?. La Vanguardia. 2006
Additional Bibliography
  • Atkins, P.; Simmons, I.; Roberts, B. . People, Land & Time. An Historical Introduction to the Relations between Landscape, Culture and Environment. Arnold. 1998
  • Chauprade, A.. Géopolitique. Constantes et changements dans l¿histoire. Ellipses. 2003
  • Delgado, G.C.. Agua y seguridad nacional. El recurso natural frente a las guerras del futuro. Debate. 2005
  • Fumey, G.. Géopolitique de l¿alimentation. Sciencies Humaines. 2008
  • Giordano, E.. Las guerras del petróleo. Geopolítica, economía y conflicto. Icaria. 2002

The course syllabus and the academic weekly planning may change due academic events or other reasons.