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Conflict Studies - 10ECTS

SOU44011 Conflict Studies

Module Content/Outline:

IThis module will contemplate the unfolding ecological crisis of modern industrial society, from a sociological perspective, as the central conflict of our times. It will explore key theoretical and substantive concerns in a critical evaluation of the relationship between human beings and the natural world, the interactions between society and environment, and the linkages between social issues and environmental problems. To do so, the module will introduce students to the subfield of environmental sociology, to its central themes and foci, as well as to environmental and ecological thought more generally. It will consider historical and sociological dimensions of the environmental movement and explore important debates and contrasting perspectives in ecological politics. Given its salience at the contemporary conjuncture, particular attention will be given to the problem of anthropogenic climate change. The module will seek to explore the societal dimensions of this problem and consider the sociological concerns of power and conflict in an assessment of the challenges it poses and the practical and ethical questions it raises.

Learning Objectives:

On successful completion students will have a critical understanding of:

  •   Gained an understanding of the environmental movement and environmental and ecological thought as well as knowledge of environmental sociology
  • Developed an ability to identify and critically evaluate the social causes of environmental problems and critically consider potential solutions in turn 
  • Attained a deeper understanding of the social challenges posed by anthropogenic climate change and sensitivity towards the ethical issues it raises 
  • Developed an ability to articulate and develop their own stance on environmental issues 

Lectures & Tutorials/ Contact hours:

One lecture and one tutorial per week.

Workload: Lectures: 22 hrs; Tutorials: 22 hrs; Exams/assignments: 22 hrs; Self-study: 284 hrs. Total: 350 hours.

Recommended Texts/ Key Reading:

  • Bell, M. (2012) An Invitation to Environmental Sociology. 4th ed. London: SAGE..
  • Harper, C. (2012) Environment and Society: Human Perspectives on Environmental Issues. 5th ed. Pearson Education.  
  • Redclift, M. and Woodgate, G. (eds.) (2010) The International Handbook of Environmental Sociology. 2nd ed. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.
  • Redclift, M. and Woodgate, G. (eds.) (1995) The Sociology of the Environment. 3 volumes. Brookfield, VT: Edward Elgar.  


The module is assessed through two component parts: • A written assignment (worth 80% of the final grade) • A student presentation (worth 20% of the final grade)