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Smith - REP 381 Syllabus

Spring 2006

Instructor:  Stewart N. Smith
Class: M, W, & F – 11:00-11:50, 201 Winslow Hall
Office:  Winslow Hall, 3rd floor (302-C)
Telephone: 581-3174
E-Mail: stewart.smith@umit.maine.edu
Hours:  Tues., Wed. and Fri. 9:00-11:00, or by appointment

We all are involved in processes of growth and change, whether of ourselves, of the human society of which we are a part, or of the natural world around us.  We can characterize these processes as development.  How we choose to organize these development processes will have a substantive impact on us and on future generations.  REP 381, Sustainable development principles and policies, investigates sustainable development as one way to organize our development processes.

Sustainable development (SD) has gained prominence as a development process since the work of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) in the mid-1980s.  SD differs from conventional economic development in several ways, including the ethical foundations on which it is based, the implementation processes, and the impacts on stakeholders.  REP 381 considers SD in light of these differences, paying particular attention to the ethical basis and the impacts on stakeholders.

The course should provide the student with:

  1. an understanding of the genesis of SD,
  2. the ethical foundations on which it is based,
  3. the principles which guide the process, and
  4. techniques for evaluating results.

Students will learn how to evaluate a policy or program by SD principles.

The course consists of four distinct blocks.  Block one reviews the work of the WCED and the concept of SD. Block two reviews various ethics that can support alternative development processes.  Block three surveys the application of SD principles at various levels (global, national, local).  Block four applies SD principles to current policy issues.  While the segments naturally lead to a comprehensive understanding of SD and the means of assessing it, some students initially may find them disjointed.  Keep the faith; it will all come together!

(Block 1): The Genesis of Sustainable Development, or Facing the Problems
We read from the 1987 report of the World Commission on Environment & Development, Our Common Future, to frame the concerns from which recent SD principles are evolving.  Lectures will be drawn from this book and other sources.

(Block 2): The Ethical Underpinning, or Determining the Needs and Ability of Current and Future Generations
We then survey selected western ethics to construct a framework that supports a set of SD principles.  Preference utilitarianism, social justice, communitarianism, social ecology, deep ecology and ecofeminism are included in this review.  We look particularly at their application to intergenerational equity.  Most of the readings are from a course pack designed for this course.

(Block 3): Finding Sustainable Development Principles
Third, we survey readings from the Rio Conference (Agenda 21), the President’s Council on Sustainable Development, and Sustainable Maine to note the principles and strategies adopted at the global, national and state levels.  We are introduced to a technique for assessing policies and programs according to local sustainable development principles.  Most of these readings will be in the course pack.

(Block 4): Policy Assessment
In Block 4, we review alternative perspectives of the “Green Revolution”, and then assess a number of current issues according to SD principles.  Issues include domestic agriculture and agricultural research policies, regional forestry policies, Atlantic fisheries policies, and Maine energy policy.  Since contemporary legislative and regulatory activities affect these issues, the specific substance will remain somewhat flexible.  Readings will be from class handouts as well as the course pack.  Since we have guest lecturers in this block, the order of presentations within each topic area indicated in the syllabus may be changed to accommodate their schedules. In this block, students will apply the principles of SD to a team project.

Team Projects: In Block 4 teams of three or four students will analyze selected issues according to SD principles.  Each team will make a class presentation and write a team paper due May 1 (executive summaries due April 28).  While I allow considerable flexibility of choice, both team composition and topic must be mutually agreed upon.

Grades: Grades are based on:

(10%)         Occasional pop quizzes (Pop quizzes can only be made up if you notify me of your absence prior to the quiz or you have valid reason for not doing so.)
(20%)   Midterm test covering blocks 1 and 2
(35%)   Team projects
(25%)   Paper
(10%)   Oral Presentation
(35%)   Final exam covering the entire course

Quizzes, tests and exams are open book and based on both the assigned readings and class lectures.

Final grades are assigned by letter based on the following numerical values:

A: 93 – 100
B: 84 – 92
C: 75 – 83
D: 65 – 74
E:      < 65

Note that this grading scale is not typical for this campus.  With open book tests, this scale has worked well for this course.

If you require course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, please contact the Coordinator for Services for Students with Disabilities, Onward Program at 581-2319.

______________________________________________

Readings

Primary Sources:
World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), 1987, Our Common Future, Oxford:Oxford University Press.

Course Pack     Sustainable Development Principles & Policy, Blocks 2 and 3
Course Pack     Sustainable Development Principles & Policy, Block 4

Block 1: The Genesis of Sustainable Development (or Facing the Problems)
Readings from Our Common Future

Date / Topics

Readings

Pages

Jan. 18 – Preview of Course

Jan. 20 – Overview

Chairman’s Forward

ix-xv

From One Earth to One World

1-23

Jan. 23 – Fundamental Problems

Ch. 1 – A Threatened Future

27-42

Basis for Solutions

Ch. 2 – Towards Sustainable Development

43-66

Jan. 25 – International Economy

Ch. 3 – Role of International Economy

67-94

Jan. 27 – Managing the Commons

Ch. 10 (I & II)

261-279

Peace, Security, Development, and the Environment

Ch. 11

290-304

Jan. 30 – Towards Common Action

Ch. 12

308-343

Block 2: An Ethical Underpinning

(or Determining Needs and Ability of Current and Future Generations)

Readings from Course Pack, Blocks 2 & 3

Dates / Topics

Readings

Pages

Feb. 1,3

Freeman

1-10

Ch 1. (Preference) Utilitarianism

Baxter

11-18

Feb. 6 – Ch 2.  Social (Distributive) Justice

Sagoff

21-36

Feb. 8 – Ch 3.  Communitarianism

Daly & Cobb

39-55

Berry

57-64

Feb. 10 – Ch 5.  Deep Ecology

Devall & Sessions

81-86

Feb. 13 – Ch 4.  Social Ecology

Bookchin

67-78

Feb. 15 – Ch 6.  Ecofeminism

Warren

89-100

Shiva

101-107

Feb. 17 – Ch 7.  Role of Technology

Hardin

111-116

Simon

117-122

Feb. 20 – REVIEW

Feb. 22 – MID-TERM

Block 3: Finding Sustainable Development Principles

Readings from Course Pack, Blocks 2 & 3 & handouts

Dates / Topic

Readings

Pages

Feb. 24 – Ch. 8.  Global Strategies

Sitarz – Agenda 21

125-156

Feb. 27 – Ch. 9.  National Strategies

PCSD – Sustainable America

159-200

State Strategies

Sustainable Maine

Handout

Mar. 1,3 – S.D. Assessment Technique

Smith et al.

Handout

Mar. 6 – 17

SPRING BREAK

Mar.   20, 22 – S.D. Assessment Technique

Smith et al.

Handout

Block 4: Policy Assessment

Readings from Course Pack Block 4 and handouts

Dates / Topic

Readings

Pages

Mar. 24, 27, 29 – The Green Revolution: Global Perspective

Wolf

1-18

Hazell & Ramasamy

19-26

Pearse

27-37

Mar. 31, Apr. 3, 5 – Policy #1 – Domestic Food & Agriculture

Smith & Marra

39-49

Urban

51-53

Mar. 31 – Lecture

Handouts

Apr.   3 – Guest

Apr.   5 – Student Teams

Apr. 7, 10, 12 – Policy #2 – U.S./Regional Forestry Policy

Santiago Agreement

55-58

Seymour et al.

59-62

Apr. 7 – Lecture

Lansky

63-81

Apr. 10 – Guest

Handouts

Apr. 12 – Student Teams

Apr. 14, 17, 19 – Policy #3 – Atlantic Fisheries

Townsend

83-89

Wilson

91-95

Apr. 14 – Lecture

Handouts

Apr. 17 – Guest

Apr. 19 – Student Teams

Apr. 21 – Student Teams

Apr. 24 – Policy #4: Sustainable Communities

Handouts

Apr. 26, 28 – Policy #5 – Energy

Handouts

Apr 26 – Guest

Apr. 28 – Lecture

Apr. 28 – Project Executive Summaries due

May 1 – Student Project Papers Due

Overview

May  3 – Maine Day – no class

May  5 – Review

May 8 (Monday): Final Exam: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30. WW 201.

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School of Economics
5782 Winslow Hall, Room 206
Orono, ME 04469
Phone: (207) 581-3154 | Fax: (207) 581-4278E-mail: soe@umit.maine.edu
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Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1110
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