Interrelations of Population, Environment and Development

lsped1221  2020-2021  Louvain-la-Neuve

Interrelations of Population, Environment and Development
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
Main themes
The first part of the course is an introduction to the principal theories of interaction between population, environment and development, including the Physiocrat school, the classic approach (Malthus and Ricardo), the Boserupian model and the systemic approach. The second part of the course is devoted to contemporary analyses of these problems: the nexus approach (poverty - environment, poverty - demographic growth, environment -demographic density, etc.), more physical approaches like the capacity of a given space to support a population, the balance of advantage of exploiting/exporting resources, approaches based on analyzing the spatial and/or temporal context, specifically by comparing the texts issued by the large international organisations with the scientific literature on the subject.

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

1 This aim of this course is to develop an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to the issue of population, environment and development and introduces students to the principal theories and contemporary debates on these issues.

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
LSPED1221 provides an introduction to the study of the interactions between population, environment and development in the world, focusing on the main theories and contemporary debates on this issue. After a first part devoted to the main concepts and indicators, and to population projections by 2100, the course presents in a second part the Malthusianist doctrine and its criticisms. A third part of the course focuses on demo-ecological models. The fourth part deals with major themes related to the relationship between population and the environment: water, food, global warming and threats to biodiversity. The last two sessions are devoted to the reactions of the international community and national/local actors.
At the end of this course, students will be able to
to understand the influence of changes in the components of population dynamics (fertility, mortality and migration) on environment and development at different geographical levels and time horizons,
explain and compare the main theories and doctrines used to give meaning to these interactions,
to develop an informed and critical view of current global issues involving populations.
Teaching methods

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information in this section is particularly likely to change.

Lecture course with classroom voting system (bring your smartphone, tablet or PC).
Evaluation methods

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information in this section is particularly likely to change.

The assessment is based on a written exam organized in a session, combining open questions and multiple choice questions, as well as on the writing of a short literature review on a theme of your choice, organized in two stages (individual and then by group). The first part, individual, accounts for 10% of the final mark. The second part, which takes the form of group work, accounts for 30% of the mark. The written exam in session counts for 60% of the mark.
Other information
Véron, J., 2013, Démographie et écologie, La Découverte
Teaching materials
  • Jacques Véron, Démographie et écologie, La Découverte, Collection Repères, 2013, accessible sur Moodle
Faculty or entity

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

Title of the programme
Minor in Sustainable Development

Minor in Population and Development Studies

Minor in Development and Environment

Master [120] in Population and Development Studies