Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 201300080
Technology, Globalization and the Environment
Course info
Course module201300080
Credits (ECTS)5
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact personprof.dr. P.A.E. Brey
Contactperson for the course
prof.dr. P.A.E. Brey
prof.dr. P.A.E. Brey
dr. K.N.J. Macnish
Academic year2017
Starting block
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes
Learning goals
This course is open only to students enrolled in the Master PSTS.
In case you, being a student from another master’s programme, want to participate in this course, please contact the PSTS staff: or
This course connects to the final qualifications K1, K2, K6 and S1-5 and S8 of the programme, according to the following learning objectives:
At the end of the course the student has knowledge of or insight in
1. problems concerning the relation between technologies and globalization
2. problems concerning the relation between technologies and the environment
At the end of the course the student is able to…
1. analyze the problems concerning the relation between technology and globalization, and technology and the environment
2. identify and analyze particular problems in these domains
3. analyze the literature in these domains
4. analyze arguments in particular debates in these domains
5. formulate and argue one's own position with regard to a particular issue
5. perform original research in this field, or make at least a serious effort to do so
6. communicate research to colleagues
This course invites students to reflect on problems regarding the relations between technologies, globalization, and the environment. Particular attention will be paid to electronic information and communication technologies and to specific topics related to geography, society, politics, energy, animals, and especially environment and sustainability.
We will focus on questions such as: Does globalization lead to what McLuhan called a “global village”? Do new ICTs “shrink” the world, and in what sense? Do they imply the “death of geography”, or does place and space still matter? If so, how? What kind of “global society”, “global community” or “global culture” is created, if any? Is the network society a “society”? How do the new technologies influence how we think about cultural difference? Do new media lead us to reconsider the duties we have to strangers? Should animals be part of the global moral community? Is technological and economic globalization necessarily followed by moral and social globalization? How do new technologies shape global finance? Do new electronic military technologies change international politics and warfare in the 21st century? What is the role of technology in coping with global climate change? How can we compare various conceptions of sustainability? Are new energy technologies such as smart grids helping to build a more sustainable world? How can ICTs be developed in a way that aids sustainability? How do they shape the way we frame environmental problems? What are conceptual and empirical relations between nature, technology, and environment?
The students will be encouraged to engage with these questions by using philosophical methods (conceptual analysis, argumentation) and by using and producing interdisciplinary research.
Teaching methods:
4 sessions of 4 hours will be a combination of lectures, student presentations, class discussions, and close reading of target papers.
Individual meetings to discuss paper proposals will be planned later in the quartile. Students are expected to attend these individual meetings.
Study material:
Will be made available through BlackBoard. A distinction will be made between background papers, central material for discussions, and 'further reading'.
Research paper (80% of the final grade) and in-class presentations and discussions (20% of the final grade), where all elements of the grading need to be sufficient.
Prior knowledge:
Obligatory: 40 EC’s of PSTS year #1 courses completed
Assumed previous knowledge
Required materials
Recommended materials
Instructional modes


Paper & participation, presentation

Paper (80%), in-class participation and presentation (20%)

Kies de Nederlandse taal