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POLS6009 Global Environmental Politics

Course Code: POLS6009

Course Tutor: Harry Bauer (Department of Political Science)

Length: One term (Spring Term)

Teaching: 20 hours lectures/seminars

Assessment: Two 2,000 word essays (40/60%)

Credits: 0.5 course units, 4 (US) 7.5 (ECTS)

About this course

This course is designed to introduce students to the major themes and issues in the study of global environmental politics (GEP). The course begins by outlining perspectives on why (global) environmental problems arise, and how and under what conditions they can be solved. It then explores processes of international regime formation: problem identification/policy formulation, designing and negotiating multilateral environmental regimes and implementing and enforcing international environmental law and policy. Case studies of the politics of climate change, ozone depletion, air pollution, whaling, hazardous wastes and biodiversity will be used to further understanding of these processes. We will ask questions such as: What factors help countries negotiate treaties to solve problems? What types of rules work best? What role do non-state actors play? How can we evaluate whether a treaty has been effective or successful? What are the obstacles to effective environmental agreements? We will then turn to recent issues and debates in global environmental politics by analysing examples of non-state global environmental governance; exploring the interrelationship between global justice, development and environmental politics and examining the link between environmental change, violent conflict and human security. A wide variety of teaching methods are used in the course including inter-active games, role play simulations, group discussion and the application of theoretical concepts to the analysis of contemporary events.

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School of Public Policy,
The Rubin Building,
29/31 Tavistock Square,
London, WC1H 9QU.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4999,
Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 4978,

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Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4982/4950

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