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This is a dedicated platform for students on the two PhD programmes housed within the Urbanisation, Planning and Development (UPD) Research Cluster: PhD Human Geography and Urban Studies (HGUS) and PhD Regional and Urban Planning Studies (RUPS). It is primarily meant to be a space for communicating between and among the UPD cluster's PhD community about matters of common interest and concern. Anyone can post a comment, question, announcement, or notification of any kind and anyone is free to respond. Please note that discussions will not be monitored or moderated. Proposals for other possible uses for this Moodle page are welcome and should be brought to the attention of Programme Directors, Dr Austin Zeiderman (HGUS) and Dr Nancy Holman (RUPS), or the Doctoral Programme Administrator, Pete Mills (p.b.mills@lse.ac.uk). Except for the "Announcements" forum, to which everyone is subscribed, the other forums are optional and users can choose to unsubscribe from them at any time.

    Teacher: Lego

This course is aimed at understanding the micro foundations of local economic development, that is the determinants and effects of the behaviour, strategies and choices of the key economic actors: local firms, both small and large, multinational enterprises, universities and other education and research organisations, government bodies, NGOs, and local communities. The study of theoretical approaches, empirical evidence and implications of the behaviour of such actors, and their interactions and linkages, will help building up the analytical framework to interpret the genesis of localised economic systems, their dynamics and evolution over time and the policy options, particularly, but not exclusively, from a bottom-up perspective. We will make use of an extended array of empirical examples and case studies across regions and industries, both in advanced and emerging economies, and consider the transferability of lessons and insights over space and time.

The course is particularly concerned with place-sensitive approaches and focuses on locally initiated and managed processes which may involve a wide range of actors in shaping and implementing local economic development initiatives.

    Teacher: My picturePicture of Simona Iammarino
About the course

On this course you will think through what makes London such a specific kind of urban scene, and how have people sought to represent its specificity? Rather than a comprehensive account of London’s past and present, this course uses the synthetic (social, economic, political and cultural) tools of human geography to understand how and why London is a specific kind of urban scene. Topics include, but are not limited to; empire, landscape, spectacle, the body & sexuality and migration & racism. An important 'lab' component involves leaving the classroom to enter the LSE Archives and to walk the streets to interpret London's cultural geographies. You are encouraged to go on walks, to explore aspects of the city you do not already know, and to dig through archival material to find connections between past and present London.

    Teacher: Picture of Ryan CentnerPicture of Alan MacePicture of Claire MercerPicture of Carwyn MorrisPicture of Meredith Whitten

About the course

This course explores the complex relationships between development, poverty and the environment. It covers a range of important natural resource and environmental issues, and provides students with the necessary tools to critically evaluate how these issues have been addressed by different stakeholders and at different levels of governance. Using concepts and analytical tools grounded in political ecology and critical development studies, the course examines several topics, including: the politics of sustainable development; environmental governance and tenure; and critical resource issues.

    Teacher: Picture of Kasia PaprockiPicture of JANNA TENZING

About the course

This course examines the issues, actors and processes that shape environmental governance at the transnational and global scales. Introductory lectures on the global environmental policy process introduce different scholarly perspectives informing recent and current research: these approaches are referred to as subsequent lectures address particular actor groups, processes and issues. Students are encouraged to think critically about the ways in which the regulation of global environmental risk is framed and politically negotiated.

    Teacher: Picture of Myung Ae ChoiPicture of Michael MasonPicture of Meredith Whitten

About the course

This course seeks to explore and critically interrogate the governance of environmental sustainability by corporate and financial actors - commonly framed in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable and responsible investment (SRI), respectively. Drawing on a range of theoretical ideas, the emphasis of the course is on providing students with an understanding of the motives, practices and outcomes of market actors’ growing involvement in sustainability. Topics covered include strategic CSR, corporate self-regulation, governing through environmental ratings, international climate finance, green bonds, greenwashing and the relationship between financial and environmental performance.


    Teacher: Picture of Richard PerkinsPicture of Matthias Tager

This course will critically analyze the intimate relationship between race and geography in the modern world. Through a range of historical and contemporary cases, it will examine how interconnected forms of racial and spatial difference are produced, reproduced, and transformed. Focusing on the material and cultural formation of racialized geographies, students will learn to recognize how racially inflected discourses and practices shape the production of space and how geographical location matters to racial classification, identification, and discrimination. The course will be organized around a series of archetypal spaces: for example, the body, the nation, the colony, the city, the home, the prison, the plantation, the border, the school, or the street. In each case, students will examine the confluence of race and space within broader themes, such as colonialism, capitalism, urbanization, globalization, environmentalism, migration, and incarceration. Since race often intersects with other forms of difference, students will also learn to interrogate the influence of gender, class, religion, and sexuality on the production of space. Texts from human geography, critical race theory, colonial and postcolonial studies, history, sociology, and anthropology in addition to other media, such as film, literature, journalism, and photography, will provide students with conceptual resources and methodological tools. The ultimate objective is to advance a comparative, critical analysis of the relationship between geography and race, past and present, and to explore the conditions of future possibility for the linked political projects of anti-racism and spatial justice.

Image (left): Rosa Parks riding the bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Source: Daily Advertiser/AP.

    Teacher: Picture of Jeanne FirthPicture of Austin Zeiderman

About the course

This course aims to develop theoretical and empirical understanding of spatial economic processes in order to study and evaluate a wide range of issues and policies. Particular emphasis will be put on regional economies, business and worker location decisions, focusing in particular on models of the location of economic and innovation activity with a particular emphasis on regional economies. We will analyse the New Economic Geography theories and the agglomeration of economic activity, with a particular focus on EU integration as a testing ground. We will also look at the global and local knowledge economy, focusing on core aspects of a society based on knowledge and technical progress and how this proceeds hand in hand with the enlargement of markets and the intensification of exchange. We will also explore the seeming contradiction that geographically localized knowledge may be increasingly significant just as so much of our world becomes more globalized.

    Teacher: Picture of Dzhamilya NigmatulinaPicture of Enrico Vanino

About the course

This course introduces students to the geography of gender inequalities and their variations at regional, national and local levels in the high income countries and emerging economies. It focuses on the variability of gender roles and relations and their socio-spatial implications in different geographical contexts.


    Teacher: Picture of Martina Klett-Davies

About the course

This course introduces students to the geography of gender inequalities and their variations at regional, national and local levels in the Global South.  Particular attention is paid to the still-lagging but vital ’en-gendering’ of development analysis and policy over time, and how gender is critical in understanding people’s experiences of social, economic, demographic and political aspects of development as individuals, and in the context of households, communities and nation-states. Topics covered include the evolution of gender on ‘development agendas’ and the changing nature of gender framing and ‘women’s empowerment’ in development policy and practice, the measurement of gender inequalities, domestic divisions of labour and household transformations, gendered employment, gendered dynamics of migration within and from the Global South, and gender in relation to reproductive health and health and healthcare in general. 

Dr. Mara Nogueira


    Teacher: Picture of Mara NogueiraPicture of Jordana Ramalho

About the course

This course covers theories and processes of contemporary urban development from a variety of perspectives – it aims to introduce students to key concepts in, and approaches to, politics in cities, as these have emerged and developed over time. Themes include, but are not limited to, political and economic power in cites, the role of ‘elites’, urban government finance, the politics of local economic development policy, the multidimensional role of culture in urban change, and the emergence of forms of urban governance. Case studies are largely drawn from cities in the United States and the United Kingdom, reflecting the development of core ideas in mainstream urban politics largely in these contexts.


    Teacher: Picture of Murray LowPicture of Carl Truedsson

About the course

A critical analysis of the politics of contemporary development processes in the South and the global interests that influence them. The course considers development as both practical pursuit and as a series of discourses and representations. Three key themes are covered: Key concepts and historical overview; securing development in the 21st century; and doing development in the 21st century.


    Teacher: Picture of Katherine DawsonPicture of Megan Ryburn

About the course

This course provides students with an introduction to quantitative methods for geographical analysis, specifically regression analysis and Geographical Information Systems.  An understanding of quantitative methods of this type is essential for those who wish to go on to do their own research and for those who those who will interpret and evaluate research in their future careers. The first part of the course is devoted to the principles of regression analysis as applied to quantitative social science. The second part of the course introduces students to the use of Geographical Information Systems in research. Theoretical discussion in the lectures is accompanied by practical computer classes in which students learn how to apply these methods on real data sets. The practical classes develop a range of skills which lead on to an assessed practical project.


    Teacher: Picture of Felipe CarozziPicture of Margarida Madaleno

About the course

This course is concerned with economic geography. In particular we use ideas from International Trade, International Economics, Development and Regional Economics to talk about the location of economic activity across space and the consequences of uneven location. The module will look at the main international economics models, abstractions that help us focus on the key economic mechanisms and to develop a deeper understanding of those mechanisms. The main fundamental questions will be: a) what determines the distribution of production, trade and investment across countries? and b) what implications does this have for incomes and welfare.


    Teacher: Picture of Tanner ReganPicture of Enrico Vanino

About the course

This course introduces students to the intersection of urban geography and the geography of globalisation, with the aim of understanding key references in academic debates, and their relevance for real-world social, economic, and political issues in our cities today. The course offers a critical, human-geographical perspective on ‘global cities’, how these manifest in different parts of the world, how they matter for distinct realms of urban life, and how we can study features of global urban geography. Themes include empires, development, and cities; ‘global cities’; ‘Third World cities’ or ‘cities of the global South’, urban spaces of neoliberalism, new geographies of urban theory, and planetary urbanisation. We examine cases related migration, sexual minorities, the circulation of ideas, and gentrification. Examples come from both the ‘global North’ and the ‘global South’, with the aim of helping students understand when and how these categories may be useful.

    Teacher: Picture of Ryan CentnerPicture of Katherine Dawson

The word “geography” derives from the Greek γεωγραφία (geōgraphía), whose literal translation is “earth description” or “writing the world.” At a basic level, it refers to the art of producing written accounts of people and their environments based on firsthand knowledge. The institutionalization of geography in the nineteenth century paralleled the professionalization of academic disciplines in the service of empire and capital. This writing and reading group provides a space for reengaging with the practice of “writing the world” as a shared intellectual pursuit.

This Moodle page is dedicated to all GTA matters. As a participant, you will be able to share materials and best practice with fellow colleagues. The Department will update this page throughout the academic year with other useful materials.

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