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2023/2024  KAN-CCBLV2303U  Just Green Transition: Integrating Gender Race and Inequality in Business and Development Practices

English Title
Just Green Transition: Integrating Gender Race and Inequality in Business and Development Practices

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for BSc and MSc in Business, Language and Culture, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Maria Figueroa - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Globalisation and international business
  • Intercultural studies
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 14-02-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Describe and outline how gender, race and other social and environmental inequality dimensions are integrated in business and development practices
  • Present and assess how integration of gender, race and inequality dimensions in business and development practice are linked to sustainable development, particularly in the global south
  • Discuss whether and how relevant theories of, and approaches to, gender, race and inequality analysis can inform development projects and innovative business practices aiming at sustainable development
  • Critically analyze particular case studies of gender, race and inequality dimensions’ integration in business and development practices
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved (see section 13 of the Programme Regulations): 1
Compulsory home assignments
Individual or Group assignment as basis toward final report.
Assignment is to discuss a topic motivation, tentative methodological approach and expected results
Groups 2 max 4 students
2-3 slides submitted before presentation
This activity will be followed by peers and faculty feedback
Just Green Transition: Integrating Gender Race and Inequality in Business and Development Practices:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Group exam
Please note the rules in the Programme Regulations about identification of individual contributions.
Number of people in the group 2-4
Size of written product Max. 30 pages
20 pages if there are 2 persons in the group, and 25 pages if there are 3 persons. The grade given will be individual. If granted an exemption, students writing alone will have to hand in 10 pages.
Assignment type Written assignment
Release of assignment Subject chosen by students themselves, see guidelines if any
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn and Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Businesses and development organizations are increasingly embracing the task of contributing to multiple sustainable development goals toward a just and sustainable future. These include, addressing systemic disadvantages pertaining to gender, group identity (race, ethnicity), and social inequalities in their new business models, plans, strategies and innovations and, taking actions to limit climate change and improve natural ecosystems or to build resilience to vulnerable communities and societal groups. A key departing point for the course is gaining greater understanding of how business and development practices impacts communities and individuals in different ways.


Within businesses and development organizations, decision-makers, investors, employees, and other stakeholders are seeking ways to integrate and implement the social aspects of the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) framework; the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals); the Paris Agreement Climate Goals; and Biodiversity Goals. To achieve this integration, gaining understanding of how engagement with local communities and the natural environment can help contribute to outcomes of environmental justice, and ecological integrity becomes necessary. A failure to understand the significance of the heterogeneity of communities may potentially interfere not only with the fulfilment of policy objectives, but also with the effectiveness of business and sustainable development practices.


This course consists of three modules:


The first module covers scholarly and policy debates about the relationship between human, social, environmental, and economic development. The module covers feminist and postcolonial scholarship on development, women’s relationship to the economy and environment, and the significance of the historical legacies of race and racism in the origins of major development institutions for the legitimacy and effectiveness of these institutions today. This module will consider the intersectionality of race and gender in development, for example, through a focus on labor conditions and the attempts by business to empower disenfranchised women in the global South and its place in business and development practices.


The second module covers discussion and analysis of a series of country and regional case studies through lenses provided by theories of justice attentive to how race, gender and social and environmental inequality dimensions impact the prospects for businesses and development organizations to contribute to sustainable development. The case studies include the role of entrepreneurship, informality, community-based approaches, gender dynamics in specific economic areas like care and services; inequality in access to resources such as energy, land, water, food, survival strategies reproduction/fertility and population, ethical human relationship with the environment, cultural tensions between development practitioners and the recipients of development aid. The course aims to include examples and cases from all continents to demonstrate how diversity, community and individuality yield different approaches and opportunities for innovation across the global south.


The third module turns to sectoral and business and development practices and considers alternatives to mainstream development and investment models that purports to be more inclusive and sustainable. These include community and individual approaches though environmental justice lines. With examples of impact investments and gender-responsive impact investing and, participatory sustainable development. Such models will be analysed to consider both their implications for generating financial gains as well as sustainable green transition.

Description of the teaching methods
There will be a combination of online and in class lectures drawing on different disciplines and presentations with active student participation. Each session is divided between a one-hour lecture on the session topic, and a period of discussion (during the three modules) or group activity. This will ensure a balance between the dissemination of key information by the instructors and the opportunity for participatory collaborative and blending forms of learning.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback is offered as follows: 1. in class usually at the beginning and end of each lecture there will be an open Q&A session; in addition to feedback offered in interaction with students during class and following group exercises during class time 2. as students work in their final group written report. 3. during office hours for all the faculty involved in this course.
Student workload
Teaching 30 hours
Preparation 128 hours
Examination 48 hours
Total 206 hours
Expected literature
  1. Sachs, J.; Schmidt-Traub, G.; Mazzucato, M.; Messner, D.; Nakicenovic, N.; Rockström, J. (2019): Six Transformations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Nature Sustainability. Perspective, 2(9), 805–814

  2. Pailey, R. N.(2022).  Race in/and development.  Chapter in "The Essential Guide to Critical Development Studies". Routledge, Second Edition, Edited by Henry Veltmeyer and Paul Bowles

  3. Menton, M., Larrea, C., Latorre, S., Martinez-Alier, J., Peck, M., Temper, L., & Walter, M. (2020). Environmental justice and the SDGs: From synergies to gaps and contradictions. Sustainability Science. Springer
  4. UNDP (2020) Human Development Report. The next frontier Human development and the Anthropocene published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) the United Nations Development Programme 1 UN Plaza, New York, NY 10017 USA
  5. Moellendorf, D. (2016). The moral challenge of dangerous climate change: Values, poverty, and policy. Cambridge University Press
  6. Victor, D. G., (2011): Global Warming Gridlock : Creating More Effective Strategies for Protecting the Planet. Cambridge University Press, 358 pp.
  7. Ramos-Mejía, M., M. L. Franco-Garcia, and J. M. Jauregui-Becker, (2018): Sustainability transitions in the developing world: Challenges of socio-technical transformations unfolding in contexts of poverty. Environ. Sci. Policy, 84, 217–223, https:/​​/​​doi.org/​​10.1016/​​j.envsci.2017.03.010.
  8. Averett, S.L., Argys, L. M., and Hoffman, S. D. The Oxford handbook of women and the economy, New York : Oxford University Press, (2017)
  9. The Women, Gender & Development Reader, 2nd Edition edited by Nalini Visvanathan, Lynn Duggan, Nan Wiegersma and Laurie Nisonoff, London and New York: Zed Books (2011).
  10. Yvonne A. Braun and Assitan Sylla Traore (2015) “Plastic Bags, Pollution, and Identity: Women and the Gendering of Globalization and Environmental Responsibility in Mali.” Gender and Society 29(6)863-887.
  11. Sylvia Chant and Caroline Sweetman (2012) “Fixing women or fixing the world? ‘Smart economics’, efficiency approaches, and gender equality in development.” Gender & Development 20(3):517-529.
  12. Naila Kabeer (2005) “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Critical Analysis of the Third Millennium Development Goal 1.” Gender & Development 13(1):13-24.
  13. Christina Abraham (2015) “Race, Gender and ‘Difference’: Representation of ‘Third World Women’ in International Development,” Journal of Critical Race Inquiry, 2(2): 4-24.
  14. Kai Chen (2013) “Race, Racism and Development: Interrogating History, Discourse and Practice,” Ethnic and Racial Studies 36 (7): 1256-1257.
  15. Sarah White (2002) “Thinking Race, Thinking Development,” Third World Quarterly 23(3): 407-419.
  16. Uma Kothari (2006) “An agenda for thinking about ‘race’ in development,” Progress in Development Studies 6(1): 9-23.
  17. Kathryn Moeller (2019), “The Ghost Statistic that Haunts Women’s Empowerment,” The New Yorker, January 4, 2019.
Last updated on 14-02-2023