Global Environmental Politics (ENV2176.01)

John Hultgren

Contemporary efforts to confront our most pressing ecological problems are characterized by a tension between the global realities of these problems and the territorial borders and logics that define sovereign nation-states. This course will explore this tension in three parts. First, we will engage with a variety of theoretical and conceptual debates introduced by scholars of global
environmental politics — a heterodox field that draws insights from international relations theory, international political economy, ecological economics, and environmental sociology (among others). Second, we will put these theories and concepts to work by turning to case studies related to biodiversity loss, hazardous waste, natural resource extraction, transboundary water conflicts, the ozone layer, and climate change. Third, the course will conclude with a mock U.N. Climate Negotiation in which students will play the role of particular states and stakeholder groups.


Learning Outcomes:
(1) Learn about the issues that comprise global environmental politics, including: climate change, transboundary water use/pollution, biodiversity, food and agriculture, trade, population, and consumption.

(2) Analyze these issues critically, using the conceptual tools provided by scholars and activists engaged in global environmental politics.

(3) Understand the history of international environmental negotiations -- the power dynamics that shape them, the institutional norms that govern them, and the successes and (mostly) failures that have characterized global environmental politics from 1970 to the present.


Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 1:40PM - 3:30PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 22
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: Fully In-Person , All courses , Environment , SCT
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