FNP-31806 Social and Political Theory for Forest and Nature Conservation Research


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper2
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. E Turnhout
JM Chambers
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. E Turnhout
JM Chambers
Examiner(s)prof. dr. E Turnhout

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

FNP-24306 Governance for Forest and Nature; 
FNP-32806 Science and Expertise in Nature and Environment.
Or other comparable course on the social and policy aspects of forest and nature. In case of doubt, contact the coordinator.

Continuation courses:

Thesis Forest and Nature Conservation Policy.


This is an advanced and intensive social science course in social and political theory for forest and nature conservation research. It is an excellent preparation for a master thesis in a social science research topic. The course:
- introduces to you several state-of-the-art social science theories and concepts;
- demonstrates how they are applied in forest and nature conservation research;
- assists you in arguing on and developing a theoretical perspective for studying a specific forest and nature conservation practice.
This course discusses and illustrates various theories and concepts using cases from forest and nature conservation practices ranging from both developed and developing countries and from the local to the global level.
The course will pay attention to: the meaning and use of theory in social science; the selection of theories; the development of a well-argued problem statement and related theoretical framework; and the application of concepts and theories in a scientific paper.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand different state-of-the-art social science concepts and theories relevant in the field of forest and nature conservation;
- apply these concepts and theories to empirical examples;
- analyse the differences and similarities of the different concepts and theories;
- evaluate these theories and concepts and their implications for research in a scientific paper;
- create a well-argued problem statement;
- create a theoretical framework that is linked to the problem statement.


- reading and discussing scientific articles during lectures and tutorials
- preparing and submitting individual assignments
- writing and presenting a scientific paper.


The exam is based on an individual paper.
Sufficient participation in the assignments during the course is required.


Will be made available through MyPortal.

Compulsory for: MFNForest and Nature ConservationMScA: Spec. A - Policy and Society4WD
Restricted Optional for: MFNForest and Nature ConservationMScB: Spec. B - Management4WD