Advanced Topics in Global Enivronmental Governance

Course Description: 

The global environment has become an arena of political and ideological contestation between states, global regions and non-state actors over the past 40 years.  While nations have responded to environmental degradation by increasing cooperation through environmental regimes, underlying structural patterns having to do with the global political economy and ideology have been more difficult to address.  This course, which is taught as a discussion oriented seminar, provides a broad understanding of the relationship between globalization, global political economy and environment.    We examine the background discourses that inform issues related to the global political economy and the environment, and students will be able to locate their own belief systems, values and politics in relation to global environmental politics.  Among the issues we engage are North-South Politics, poverty and environment, trade and environment, investment and finance and environment, ideology and environmental politics and the role of neoliberalism and reforms of the global political economy to make it more ecologically and socially sustainable.

Learning Outcomes: 

The course has fouroverriding aims:

·      Deepen students' understanding of the relationship between globalization and environment by examining key policies and processes of globalization and their interaction with the environment and environmental politics.

·      Develop students' knowledge of the ideological discourses that inform global environmental politics by examining four key environmental perspectives, or world views, that underlie the positions taken by various actors in environmental debates.

·      Strengthen students' ability to think analytically and critically about international environmental politics and their own environmental world views, and how these inform political preferences.  We will read and discuss examples of the various world views and discourses and relate these to political objectives and policy preferences.

·      Develop students'  written and spoken communication skills by learning the principles of popular opinion writing and podcasting. This course is the recipient of a Teaching and Learning grant from CEU within the scope of which podcasts will be used as learning materials, and students will learn the principles of podcasting. 

Assessment: 

Students will turn in regular short reflections on the readings, which account for 60% of the final grade.  A short paper/article written in the style of an opinion piece will account for 20% of the grade and a short podcast will account for another 20%. Students will receive the requisite training in podcasting.

Prerequisites: 

There are no prerequisites.