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Governance, Policy and Justice (GPJ)
Course Description

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 (including environmental justice) 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.

Learning Outcomes

Gain proficiency in analyzing environmental and natural resources governance from a comparative perspective.

Understand how political systems and processes, history and culture, and knowledge interact to produce environmental governance regimes.

Understand how multilevel environmental governance differs around the world and across time to produce vastly different environmental outcomes and governance capacities.


Assessment will consist of an integrated Intro to Advanced Clusters assignment comprising an abstract (20%) and a full paper (80%). The grade for this assignment will be applied to all cluster courses taken for Grade. Details will be communicated separately.



Course Level
Course Open to
Students on-site
Remote students
Academic Year
US Credits
ECTS Credits
Course Code
ENVS 5072