Global Environmental Politics POLITIC4007

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

In this course students will study the behaviour of states and non-governmental actors in the context of transboundary environmental problems from a rigorous international relations perspective. We begin by identifying theoretical foundations of international cooperation, institutions, and actors to develop the analytical toolkit that helps us understand why some environmental problems can be governed effectively, while others cannot.

Timetable

This course may not be running this year. For further information please check the Politics Moodle page or contact the subject directly.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Entry to Honours Politics requires a grade point average of 12 (Grade C) over Politics 2A and Politics 2B as a first attempt.

Excluded Courses

None

Co-requisites

None

Assessment

Student assessment will be based on one essay of 2,500 words (50% of the final mark), and one 90-minute, unseen exam (50% of the final mark), in which students must attempt two questions.

Main Assessment In: December

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

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Course Aims

Over the last decade, international environmental problems, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, or depletion of natural resources have gained more and more attention from policymakers, academics, and occasional observers alike. Common to all these problems is that they require finding global solutions, but how do global environmental politics work?

 

In this course students will study the behaviour of states and non-governmental actors in the context of transboundary environmental problems from a rigorous international relations perspective. We begin by identifying theoretical foundations of international cooperation, institutions, and actors to develop the analytical toolkit that helps us understand why some environmental problems can be governed effectively, while others cannot. Topics discussed in class include questions like: Why are climate politics so difficult? How does emission trading work? Do democracies have better environmental policies? Can international environmental agreements be effective? Are natural resources bad for democratization? Which role do firms play for environmental cooperation? All these topics are rooted in the most recent literature and, where applicable, linked to current policy debates.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course students should be able to demonstrate through class participation, the assessed essay, and their performance on an unseen exam that they:

■ Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the major theories about global environmental politics;

■ Apply relevant concepts and theories to analyse the interaction between the political, economic, and institutional aspects of global environmental politics;

■ Interpret a range of quantitative and qualitative research findings regarding pressing global environmental problems, such as climate change and a renewable energy transformation;

■ Critically assess the different goals of global environmental policy and governance, and identify the key trade-offs involved in environmental policy-making;

■ Evaluate the political and economic implications of adopting different environmental policy options;

■ Advance reasoned and evidence-based arguments, both orally and in writing.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.