Master’s studies

Syllabus for Critical Perspectives on Sustainable Development in Sweden

Kritiska perspektiv på hållbar utveckling i Sverige


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 1MV017
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Sustainable Development G1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G).
  • Established: 2009-03-12
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Revised: 2011-05-30
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 34, 2011
  • Entry requirements: University studies 60 credits/equivalent
  • Responsible department: Department of Earth Sciences

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • account for different actors' perspective on sustainable development in Sweden, and critically discuss their different definitions of and indicators of sustainable development;

  • account for and critically discuss the origin and development of the Swedish sustainability discourse, and conflicting conceptions of Sweden as a world leader within the sustainability field;

  • account for what characterises Swedish work and Swedish initiatives for sustainable development at the local, regional and international level;

  • critically relate to and evaluate Swedish actors' visions and solutions that aims at a sustainable future, and their different strategies to achieve a sustainable society in a global context.


The course starts out with analysing and evaluating different dimensions of and perspectives on sustainable development in Sweden. On the basis of that starting point, the course highlights practical work for sustainable development and the societal/scientific debate concerning the subject. To deepen the understanding of the complex sustainability challenge the course provides a historical description of how sustainable development through time and space has been handled and interpreted in different Swedish contexts and by different Swedish actors. On the general level the course aims encourage to a critical discussion and reflection concerning Swedish actors' visions about a sustainable future, and their different strategies to achieve a sustainable society.


The teaching consists of lectures, seminars and workshops. The lectures are given by guest lecturer from different academic disciplines. The teaching methods stimulate to active student participation.


The students are examined through written assignments/project work (4.5 credits) and active participation in seminars (3 credits).

Reading list

Reading lists

Applies from: week 34, 2013

  • Bernes, Claes; Lundgren, Lars J. Naylor, Martin Use and misuse of nature's resources : an environmental history of Sweden

    Stockholm: Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, 2009

    Find in the library


  • Brown, Andrew Fishing in Utopia : Sweden and the future that disappeared

    London: Granta Books, 2009

    Find in the library


  • Course Reader

    Find in the library