Advanced Topics in Global Environmental Governance - Not offered in AY 2022-23

Undergraduate Program Status

Environmental Sciences - Specialization
Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
US Credits: 
ECTS Credits: 
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. We also examine emerging discourses around the environment growing out of populist and right-wing political movements.

Learning Outcomes: 

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the relationship between globalization and environment by examining key policies and processes of globalization and their interaction with the environment and environmental politics.
  • Analyze changes in global governance, international relations and economic and political changes occurring in the first decades of the 21st Century, and their relationship with the environment and the prospects for effective environmental governance.
  • Describe, analyze and compare 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.
  • Think analytically and critically about international environmental politics and their own environmental world views, and how these inform political preferences.
  • Write short, analytical essays on key environmental governance issues, and develop original ideas over a series of papers.
  • Conceive and produce an original podcast.

Students will turn in regular short analyses of the readings, which account for 60% of the final grade. Participation will count for 10%. A final podcast assignment will count for 30% of the grade.