Essay 2

GEO 3001 – Geographies of Global Change

Essay #2


In the first half of our course, we explored how the Anthropocene is widely recognized to be not only a new geological era in which humans influence global systems, but also as the culmination of ongoing, social, cultural, economic, political and environmental changes tied to the Industrial Revolution and, even earlier, plantation-based colonialism. This history produces uneven geographies of global change, in which the benefits and harms of these changes have been, and continue to be, socially and spatially uneven. For our second essay, drawing on readings, lectures and assignments throughout the term, explain how, since the mid-1700s, the concept of development has sought to manage these differentiated changes in order to secure existing power relations in the global colonial economy.  Specific questions to focus on include:

  • What do different visions of development (colonial, Cold War, neoliberal) identify as the threat to the status quo?
  • How have different styles of development (colonial, Cold War, neoliberal) sought to regulate or control this threat?
  • What do these histories of development tell us about the politics of development in the era of the Anthropocene? Who does development benefit, and how does it benefit these people rather than others?


Essays should be a minimum of 1,000 words (two single-spaced pages, 12-point Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins). Citations should be included within the text (either as parenthetical in-text citations or as footnotes), and references should be provided in a reference list. References should be in the format of your choice, and should be consistent (my personal preference is APA-style referencing, which is more or less standard in the social sciences, but any format you are comfortable using is acceptable, as long as it is consistently used throughout your reference list).

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