PhD course – Political Economy in Sustainability Research

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Detroit by Air, Photo Alex S. MacLean, The New York Times- Sunday Review

PhD Course – Political Economy in Sustainability Research

(7.5-10) ECTS

The course is open to all PhD candidates doing research focused on or relevant to sustainability. The course is limited to approx. 15 students (on a first come, first served basis).

Course dates
Nov. 23-Dec. 4, 2015

Lund University Center for Sustainability Studies
Josephson building
Biskopsgatan 5
Lund 223 62

Course basis, description and content

Being an interdisciplinary field, practitioners and students working with sustainability problems often need to be able to draw upon different theoretical perspectives from different disciplines to understand problems and identify potential solutions. Political economy is a rich theoretical tradition with established applications in a wide array of disciplines and fields. Through a series of lectures by international experts, seminars, field trips and concrete cases, the course intends to enable students to operationalize the concepts and frameworks in political economy for application in sustainability-oriented research. Lectures are complemented with a comprehensive collection of literature from books and scholarly articles, as well as field trips in the local area to help visualize some political economic concepts “in action”. In addition to lecturing, guest lecturers will also give constructive comments on student’s research presentations which will focus on the potential application of Political Economy in their particular research contexts.

To begin the course, Part 1 consists of a week-long lecture series by Dr. Dimitrios Milonakis, Professor of Political Economy at the University of Crete, which will provide students with in-depth familiarity of political economic theory and associated practice, with particular focus on what distinguishes Political Economy from mainstream economics. This includes a systematic overview of the history of political economic thought and its key proponents/opponents, including the recent “revival” of Political Economic perspectives due to the ongoing “crisis of economics”.

The next week, Part 2 continues with a week-long lecture series by Dr. Jamie Peck, Canadian research chair in Political Economy. Here the course will engage in close examination of a number of concrete examples/cases (for example Urban Political Economy in Detroit, USA) where concepts and categories common in political economy have been fruitfully applied (including concepts like Financialization, Commodification, Rent seeking/rent theory, Neoliberalization, Commons, etc.). These discussions and concrete examples will better enable the students to approach and analyze their ongoing research within the framework of political economy.

Course registration

To register, please contact Barry Ness, LUCSUS PhD school director of studies at

Registration closes Friday, Nov. 13.

Course coordinators

Turaj Faran (TF), LUCSUS, Lund University

Eric Clark (EC), KEG, Lund University
+46(0)46-222 94 96

Guest Lecturers

Dr. Dimitrios Milonakis, Professor, Department of Economics, University of Crete (

Dr. Jamie Peck, Canada Research Chair in Urban & Regional Political Economy and Professor of Geography, University of British Columbia (

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