This course will explore American environmental politics, from the late 1800s to the present day, with a focus on understanding the actors, institutions and structural power dynamics that impact environmental struggles. We will proceed by engaging with a variety of historical and contemporary case studies related to toxic waste, clean air and water, fracking, national parks, old growth forests, oil pipelines, and agriculture. These cases will provide insight into the theories and concepts relevant to American politics; the historical evolution of American environmental policy; the ways in which various interest groups seek to influence environmental policy; and the role played by social movements that operate outside of the formal institutional realm. In pursuit of these ends, students will have an opportunity to pursue a semester project related to their own environmental interests.
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