Aim of the course
The aim of this module is to explore the issues associated with economic development and to provide students with various alternative models of economics which highlight new approaches to sustainable development. Students will understand and develop a critical approach to the role of economic policies, incentives, and instruments in the running of a sustainable economy, while assessing the potential of new economic thinking in pursuing sustainable development objectives. This module operates in a way to help students critically analyze the different approaches to sustainable development, referring to systems thinking and the state of the economy.
The “Economic Models” module examines the history of traditional economics and assesses new approaches which acknowledge the environmental constraints of a limited biosphere. It investigates the sustainable development planning and action cycle as a method for organizations to engage with the principles of different economic models, such as ecological economics and doughnut economics, while using case studies to explore sustainable development at the micro and macro levels.
This module focuses on the role of the economy in sustainable development and gives good opportunities for the critical analysis of different approaches to sustainable development. The method that has been taken for this module is to encourage self-directed learning, along with taught classes, and research materials that students can find in the online (Moodle) platform for their use.
The “Economic Models” course is composed of two different sections. The first part of this course is the “Traditional Economics and Alternative Models” course, which is divided into the following sections:
- History, principles & policies of economics;
- Alternative economic models for a sustainable future (ecological economics, doughnut economics, natural capital accounting);
- Differentiating between neoclassical and ecological economics;
- Assumptions in neoclassical economics on human nature and its relevance to resource allocation.
The second half of this module is the “Case Studies of Sustainable Development” course. This part is also structured into different lessons, which are:
- Selection of case studies (including agricultural) to explore sustainable development-based solutions at micro and macro levels;
The Sustainable Development Planning & Action Cycle, incorporating the VISIS (Vision, Indicators, Systems, Innovation, Strategy) methodology as a means of case study preparation and analysis.