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x Political Economy of Hazardscapes

Course Code:
Unit value:
Year of study:
Year 3
Course Description

The course aims to familiarize students with cultural, political economic, pragmatic and technocratic perspectives used to explain and sometimes spawn hazardousness of everyday life; and to educate students that hazards are not accidental interruptions of ‘normal’ life but rather integral to the social geographies that modern societies have produced. The integrative concept of ‘hazardscapes’ will be introduced to capture the discursive and material aspects of environmental and social hazards. Hazardous environments in both the rich and the poorer parts of the world will be critically evaluated from multiple theoretical perspectives to formulate strategies for enhancing human safety and environmental quality.

For more information on this course and to check that it is running, please contact Dr Debby Potts, Head of the SOAS Geography Programme (debby.potts@kcl.ac.uk).

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the completion of the course students should be able to demonstrate sound knowledge of multiple theories used within the hazards, environment/society, and development geography subfields within human geography; demonstrate sound knowledge of the key concepts of vulnerability and resilience as they pertain to economic development; have a critical understanding of hazard perceptions at the individual, community, institutional and societal scales; have critical thinking about prevailing policies, ‘common wisdom’ and stereotypes about hazard response, planning and reconstruction.


20 hours lectures

Method of assessment

Assessment will be by essay (constituting 50% of the final grade), poster (constituting 30% of the final grade), and by presentation (constituting 20% of the final grade).