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A Law to Save the World?

Lund University

PhD Course in sustainable development and the Law

Sustainable development – in its 2015 UN General Assembly “Agenda 2030” instantiation – seeks to halt climate change, create sustainable patterns of production and consumption, stop the decrease of biodiversity, end poverty, and more. It is seen as an effective method for mobilization around a set of global social priorities but has also been criticized for being a futile attempt to save the world without transforming it.

Material from a range of disciplines - history, politics, economics, and law is used for a better understanding of where Agenda 2030 is coming from and where the world it brings into being is heading. While being interdisciplinary in both outlook and reading material, the course focus in particular on the relationship between sustainable development and our existing global legal order.

The course is offered at the Faculty of Law as part of the interdisciplinary Lund University Agenda 2030 Graduate School.

Teaching Language:  


Course aims:

The course fosters the ability to critically analyze the sustainable development goals and the discourses and interests they serve. The course further aims to cultivate the ability to problematize different research designs by exposing how they are linked to broader political and ethical dimensions of research in sustainable development. With that in mind, in addition to the substantive interest of each seminar, a methodological component is added. 

Teaching and assessment:

Teaching is in the form of 10+ intensive reading seminars. The course is examined through active participation. A student that fails to attend a seminar will be given the opportunity to make up for it through a written assignment.

Seminars will be given in a hybrid format with the possibility to take the course in Lund, but also over Zoom. 

7,5 ECTS, half-time mid-November 2021 to Mid-January 2022. 

Fee and eligibility:

The course is free of charge. The course is part of the Agenda 2030 Graduate School at Lund University but is open for PhD students from across the world. 

Contact information:

Markus Gunneflo, Senior Lecturer in Public International Law (




Course dates
15 November 2021 - 15 January 2022
Course organizer
Markus Gunneflo
Box 207
221 00 Lund Lund
7.5 ECTS