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Reconstruction after Crises and Disasters, 15 Credits

Swedish name: Återuppbyggnad efter kriser och katastrofer

This syllabus is valid: 2020-06-15 and until further notice

Course code: 2KG055

Credit points: 15

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Human Geography: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
Political Science: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: A Excellent, B Very good, C Good, D Satisfactory, E Sufficient, FX Insufficient, F Insufficient

Responsible department: Department of Geography

Revised by: Head of Department of Geography and Economic History, 2020-06-12


The course provides in-depth knowledge of how planning and development work can contribute to reducing the vulnerability of society, with emphasis on sustainability and risk management.  The course provides an orientation on various types of extreme events, such as natural disasters, technical accidents, economic crises, diseases/pandemics, social unrest and conflicts. For these, both causes and consequences are highlighted. Particular attention is paid to risks related to climate change. A point of departure is the UN's goals in Agenda 2030. Nevertheless, the focus is on analyzing potential risks from a systems perspective and preventing future accidents. The latter can be done through planning and promoting sustainable development. In more extreme cases, it can be about reconstruction and efforts to create more resilient societal structures, for example after large natural disasters or large-scale armed conflicts. Scientific studies and relevant planning tools are presented continuously during the course. Examples are taken from both local and national (i.e, mainly Swedish) contexts as well as international contexts, such as developing countries in the Global South.


Expected learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student should be able to:
Knowledge and understanding:
1. Explain key terms and theories related to risk and vulnerability.
2. Understand how crises and disasters affect the conditions for a sustainable development in different geographic contexts.
3. Demonstrate knowledge on how risk assessments, planning and development strategies can be used in order to reduce society's vulnerability and contribute to a long-term sustainable development.
Competence and skills:
4. Apply relevant concepts and theories in a concrete planning situation, in particular with respect to risks and vulnerability.
5. Carry out a study that focuses on crises and disasters from a sustainability and planning perspective, and to present this study both in writing and orally.
Judgement and approach
6. Demonstrate ability to critically review scientific studies from a sustainability and planning perspective.
7. Critically review and discuss risk and vulnerability analyses.

Required Knowledge

Univ: 120 ECTS, 60 ECTS of which in a major field of subject.

Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English B/6

Form of instruction

The course is based on lectures, seminars, group exercises and individual assignments. All teaching on the course is in English.

Examination modes

The course is examined through the following exams:
- four literature seminars, presented orally at a seminar,
- one written paper(memo) that is carried out in groups, handed in, and presented at a seminar
- one individual written term paper, handed in, and presented orally at a seminar.
The literature seminars are assessed with pass of fail. The group written memo is assessed with 0-20 points. The individual term paper is assessed with 0-40 points.
The maximum score for the course is 60 points, and to pass the course all exams must be passed. Grades on the course are set once all exams are passed, and one of the grades A, B, C, D, E, Fx or F is given.
It is not possible to appeal a grade, but if special reasons exist, the examiner has the right to decide on another examiner. Students who fail at one test opportunity have the right to take part in a renewed test on at least five examinations. When a student has been unsuccessful on two examination occasions, the student has the right to request another examiner, unless special reasons contradict so (Chapter 6, Section 11b HF). The student may apply to the Director of Studies with a request for another examiner.
The exam based in this syllabus is guaranteed for two years after the student's first registration date on the course.


Valid from: 2020 week 25

Gender and poverty: what we know, don’t know, and need to know for Agenda 2030
Bradshaw S, Chant S, Linneker B
Gender Place and Culture; 24;12; 1667-1688 : 2017 :

Caradonna Jeremy L.
Sustainability : a history
Oxford : Oxford University Press : 2014 : x, 331 pages :
ISBN: 9780199372409
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

Urban resilience : planning for risk, crisis and uncertainty
Coaffee Jon, Lee Peter
London : Palgrave Macmillan : 2016 : 306 sidor :
ISBN: 9781137288820
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

A summary of risk areas and scenario analyses 2012-2015
Karlstad : Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency : 2016 : 122 s. :
ISBN: 978-91-7383-681-4
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

There is no such thing as natural disaster : race, class, and hurricane Katrina
Squires Gregory, Hartman Chester
Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon : Routledge : cop. 2006 : 311 s. :
ISBN: 0-415-95487-8
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

A first step towards a national risk assessment: National risk identification
Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap (MSB), Karlstad. : 2011 :

Wildfires, responsibility and trust [Elektronisk resurs] : public understanding of Sweden's largest wildfire
Lidskog Rolf, Johansson Johanna, Sjödin Daniel
2019 :

Liverman Diana
) Geographic perspectives on development goals: Constructive engage¬ments and critical perspectives on the MDGs and the SDGs Dialogues in Human Geography
Dialogues in Human Geography, Vol. 8(2) 168-185 : 2018 :