This course introduces students to concepts and issues in the study of global environmental politics (GEP), placing some emphasis on the political economy of environmental protection. The course begins by outlining perspectives on why (global) environmental problems arise, as well as how and under what conditions they can be solved. It then explores processes of international environmental governance: Problem identification/policy formulation, designing and negotiating multilateral environmental regimes and implementing and enforcing international environmental law and policy. Illustrations from the politics of climate change, ozone depletion, air pollution, whaling, hazardous wastes, mercury politics, deforestation and biodiversity will be used to further the 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 then turn to recent issues and debates in global environmental politics by analysing examples of non-state global environmental governance, assessing the contentious link between international trade and evironmental degradation, exploring the interrelationship between economic development and environmental quality and examining the link between environmental change, violent conflict and human security.
This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.