Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution

Time: 17-21 August 2020


Own webpages of the course

Duration and credits: 1 week, 5 ECTS
Teaching language: English
Level: Master, bachelor
Maximum number of attendees: 30
Course coordinator: PhD scholar Emma Luoma, emma.luoma@uef.fi
Responsible teachers: Professor Irmeli Mustalahti (UEF) and Professor Lasse Peltonen (UEF)
Responsible department: Department of Social Sciences in collaboration with the projects: CORE (Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland); ALL-YOUTH (Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland); MAKUTANO (Academy of Finland)

Prerequisites: Bachelor level basic studies in field of environmental politics, forest policy and economic, environmental issues, social science related natural resources governance. Or studies/practical experience in environmental conflict situations. All applicants need to submit a letter of motivation and CV. Based on their personal experience, level of basic studies and motivation, the responsible teachers will select the students for the course.

Learning outcomes:

The participants will learn to:

1) analyze conflict situations;

2) understand types of intervention and their preconditions;

3) match environmental conflict situations with appropriate response strategies;

4) understand the principles of collaborative processes and meditated negotiation as a conflict resolution strategy; and

5) participate effectively in collaborative multi-party processes.


The summer school course seeks to further our understanding of environmental conflicts and the possibilities of resolving them through collaborative management and participatory interventions. It is both academic and practice-driven; i.e. the course contents provide theoretical underpinnings and conflict analysis perspectives, but also include practice-oriented skills in assessments and interventions in conflict situations.

The course will address natural resource conflicts that are familiar and topical for the course participants. These cases provide a real-world context for the course contents and development of practical skills. The themes include natural resource conflicts in the fields of forestry, nature conservation, mining and land use conflicts more generally.

The course is constructed around a framework of environmental collaboration and conflict resolution, drawing from a spectrum of different possible interventions. It starts with introduction of collaborative governance and participatory methods and continues with a closer look on the theory and practice of collaboration and consensus building. It includes elements of interest-based negotiation theory at its core and builds on the practices of collaborative governance.

Modes of study: Online lectures, literature and group works. Masters students need to participate 80% of course sessions as well as actively carry out group works and reading outside of course sessions. If a student cannot fully participate in all these course requirements, one cannot complete the course and get the ECTS credits.

Study materials: Pre-course reading materials will available for the students before the course latest by the end of June 2020. All course participants are expected to read through the pre-course reading materials before the course. Provided articles will help participants to understand and follow the lectures. All students are expected to carry out literature search related to lecture topics. Lecturers will provide some additional list of literature; which students could use for their further literature search.

Evaluation criteria: 0-5 (based mainly on the group works but also active participation during the lectures)


  • Dr. Irmeli Mustalahti (UEF), Professor of Natural Resources Governance
  • Dr. Lasse Peltonen (UEF), Professor of Environmental Conflict Resolution
  • Steve Greenwood, National Policy Consensus Center, United States
  • Laurel Singer, National Policy Consensus Center, United States
  • Jonna Kangasoja, Akordi Oy
  • Aristarik Maro, MAKUTANO project, Tanzania
  • Juha Kotilainen (UEF), PhD scholar
  • Denis Dobrynin (UEF), PhD scholar
  • Rijal Ramdani (UEF), PhD scholar