This course is an introduction to environmental and natural resources policy and governance from a comparative perspective. Over the course of the past 50 years environmental policy and natural resources governance regimes have spread around the world through processes of innovation, diffusion and adaptation. How environmental and resources governance is done is the result of a complex interplay between domestic and international institutions, legal frameworks, actors and other forces. This ensures that while most of the challenges of environmental and resources governance are similar across states, each state also creates a very specific context that shapes both the environmental and resource problems it faces as well as the governance approaches taken to addressing them. Moreover, increasingly environmental and natural resources governance occurs in a multilevel context that includes an international dimension.
The class will begin with theoretical perspectives on comparative environmental and natural resources governance, and will consider the proposition that the greening of modern states has been a fitful yet powerful process shaping state-society relations in the past several decades. We will then examine key issues in comparative environmental politics and policy, including institutional effectiveness across political systems, political processes and organizations, and the capacity of states to protect the environment. We will then examine cases of national approaches to environmental protection, resource management and natural disaster prevention from different regions of the world. Finally, we will examine environmental and resources governance from the perspective of multilevel governance in different regions of the world.