FNP-31806 Forest and Nature Policy: Theoretical Perspectives


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper3
Course coordinator(s)dr. E Turnhout
Lecturer(s)dr. E Turnhout
dr. M de Groot
prof. dr. BJM Arts
Examiner(s)dr. M de Groot
dr. E Turnhout
prof. dr. BJM Arts

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

FNP-24306 Governance for Forest and Nature; FNP-23806 People and Forest and Nature Conservation; 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


How can we analyze and understand forest and nature practices? How do ecosystems, places, people, organizations and ideas interact in these practices? As a basis for such analyses, the application of appropriate theories and concepts is crucial. This course introduces several state-of-the-art social science theories and concepts and shows how they are currently applied in forest and nature conservation research. The various theories and concepts are discussed and illustrated using empirical examples from forest and nature conservation practices in both developed and developing countries ranging from the local to the global level. Students are required to write a scientific paper in which they apply a selection of these theories and concepts. To assist students in understanding the various concepts and theories and in writing the paper, the course will pay attention to the following issues: 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; the application of concepts and theories in a scientific paper. This course provides an excellent preparation for a master thesis not only in forest and nature conservation but also in related social sciences' programs.

Learning outcomes:

On completion of this course the student is expected to be:
- familiar with state-of-the-art social science concepts and theories relevant for the field of forest and nature conservation;
- able to link real live examples with theoretical perspectives;
- able to develop a well argued problem statement;
- able to developed a theoretical framework that is linked to the problem statement;
- able to discuss and critically evaluate scientific articles in (group)discussions;
- able to apply, discuss and critically evaluate social science concepts and theories in a scientific paper;
- able to reflect on the role of a social scientist and the choices and assumptions that lie at the basis of doing social science.


- preparing for lectures by reading scientific articles;
- discussing and preseenting scientific articles during lectures and/or in groups;
- self study using material from Eduweb;
- writing and presenting a scientific paper.


The student's final mark will be based on the results of an individual written paper on a selected topic from the course.


Will be made available through EDUweb.

Compulsory for: MFNForest and Nature ConservationMScA: Policy and Society5MO
Restricted Optional for: MFNForest and Nature ConservationMScB: Management5MO