CPS - Career prospects
Career relevance and research foundation
This Master’s programme aims to generate a dialogue between the perspectives of human sciences such as anthropology and human ecology on one hand, and environmental and sustainability science on the other.
The capacity to communicate and negotiate issues of global sustainability will be increasingly important for a wide range of professions, including careers in education, journalism, public and private management, development aid, and non-governmental organizations devoted to achieving a globally sustainable development. In these sectors, trans-disciplinary approaches combining perspectives from both the natural and the social sciences can be expected to be increasingly in demand.
A more general objective is to generate more profound insights on the global, socio-political obstacles to sustainable development, in order to encourage students to engage themselves in the challenge of envisaging creative, new strategies toward sustainability.
The globalized discourse on “sustainable development” within academia and management is dominated by assumptions of consensus and a trivialization of obstacles to implementation of the requisite policies. Intellectually, it is largely founded on the epistemological traditions of systems ecology and similar, natural-science approaches emphasizing the harmonious functioning of natural systems through adaptation, wise management, and appropriate technologies. Normative notions of strategies to promote the resilience of socio-ecological systems exemplify this view.
Such approaches, and the agencies that continue to promote them, remain oblivious to several strong research traditions in the social sciences that have persuasively shown that socio-ecological systems are historically and currently ridden with structural problems of power, conflicts of interest, and unequal distribution.
Courses and course literature will generally relate to ongoing research at the Human Ecology Division on topics such as environmental and economic anthropology, environmental history, and political ecology.