Interrelations of Population, Environment and Development

lsped1221  2022-2023  Louvain-la-Neuve

Interrelations of Population, Environment and Development
5.00 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.
Learning outcomes

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.
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
Lecture course with classroom voting system (bring your smartphone, tablet or PC).
Evaluation methods
The evaluation is based on a written exam combining open questions and MCQs, as well as on the writing of a short literature review on a selected theme, organized in two stages (individually and then in groups). This individual and group work represents 40% of the grade. The written exam in session counts for 60% of the grade. In case of failure in the first session, an individual work must be submitted and the exam must be retaken.
Other information
Véron, J., 2013, Démographie et écologie, La Découverte
Pont, E. 2022, Faut-il arrêter de faire des enfants pour sauver la planète ?: entre question de société et choix personnel, Payot
Rosling, H. 2019, Factfulness, Flammarion
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
Learning outcomes
Minor in Development and Environment

Minor : Issues of Transition and Sustainable Development

Minor in Population and Development Studies