Environment sociological and economical analysis and policy evaluation

Course Code :2105TEWSEW
Study domain:Social and Economic Sciences
Academic year:2019-2020
Semester:1st/2nd semester
Contact hours:80
Study load (hours):336
Contract restrictions: No contract restriction
Language of instruction:Dutch
Exam period:exam in the 1st and/or 2nd semester
Lecturer(s)Ilse Loots
Ann Crabbé
Steven Van Passel
Stijn Oosterlynck
Frederic Vandermoere

3. Course contents *

Topics in the sociological state-of-the art

1. spatial planning, town and country planning and comprehensive/integrated area specific policy processes; local and international trends

2. impacts of other policy domains (rural, urban, mobility and infrastructure policy, ...)

3. types of spatial issues and conflicts

4. environmental policy issues, common pool resource management and sustainability discours, ecological modernisation, local and international trends

5. risk society; risk perception; risk communication; environmental justice and governance

6. environmental issues as social dilemmas; external and internal policy instruments

7. dealing with complexity, uncertainty and controversity, inter- and transdisciplinarity in knowledge production and policy processes

8. dynamics and institutionalisation of these policy domains

9. policy evaluation perspectives and methods


Several perspectives on the relation economics-environment (ecosystem functions, DPSI@R, spatial, economic growth, sustainable development). The economics analytical frameworks for finding the right level of encroachment on the environment (cost-benefit trade-offs with many caveats, e.g. joining private interests of emissions and abatement with public interests of a safe environment; valuing nature and the environment, etc.). Ways to install emission/immission levels lower than the laisser-faire ones: Coase and public policies. Extended discussion, analysis and demonstration of policy instruments such as standards and levies, with an additional emphasis on tradable permits. Most examples are coming from the climate change debate.

The lectures on urban political economy address the following topics:

- the post-industrial city: technological entrepreneurship, the creative class and economic clusters

- the ‘foundational economy’ and the urban informal economy 

- the political economy of urban development: urban entrepreneurialism and financialisation