GV591-7-AU-CO:
International Environmental Politics

The details
2019/20
Government
Colchester Campus
Autumn
Postgraduate: Level 7
Current
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
15
13 August 2019

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

(none)

Key module for

(none)

Module description

How can the international community effectively address global environmental problems, e.g., the depletion of the ozone layer and climate change? This module offers a comprehensive examination of global environmental politics and facilitates an understanding of how international problem-solving efforts emerge among what kinds of actors, what kind of impact such instruments have, and why state efforts to regulate global environmental issues might fail. The world community's response to transnational environmental issues has been to build a complex structure of environmental regimes and multilateral agreements. We will examine the underlying theoretical approaches comprehensively, paying particular attention to the design of international environmental regimes, the determinants of states participating in these institutions, and their effectiveness. An additional drawback with regime governance is that it can lead to piece-meal responses and overlapping institutions with little impact on the overall problems posed to the global system. Building on this general overview, we will contrast the cases of the depletion of the ozone layer and climate change, before concentrating on the consequences of climate change for interstate and intrastate conflict. We then study the nexus of trade and the environment at a global level in trying to answer whether globalization facilitates or worsens the international community's response to global environmental problems. Finally, we explore the possibilities for enhanced environmental governance and the future of international environmental politics.

Module aims

Aims

To provide students with the main theoretical arguments of international environmental politics, particularly with regard to environmental regimes.

To engage with a wide range of applied empirical material relating global environmental politics.

To present a range of contemporary international environmental issues, which are discussed both from a theoretical point of view and an empirical perspective.

Objectives

By the end of the module, students should:

Be able to critically assess theoretical approaches in international environmental politics, including regime theory.

Possess the skills to carefully assess the empirical evidence for these theoretical approaches.

Demonstrate an advanced knowledge of contemporary issues in international environmental politics.

Be able to express well-informed opinions about contemporary international environmental issues.

Module learning outcomes

By following this module, students will gain the following skills:

Select and read appropriate material that contains required information and data.

Synthesize the obtained information to use it for relevant purposes (e.g., essays, presentations, discussions, etc.).

Organize information clearly and coherently.

Explore complex environmental problems at the global/international level and analyze their main characteristics, determinants, and consequences.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

The module runs over 10 weeks. Each weekly seminar comprises of a 2 hour lecture. Each session – except for Week 9 through 11 – will start with the lecturer's introduction to the weekly topic followed by students' discussions of the material from the required readings and how they are related to contemporary problems. Weeks 9 through 11 will be dedicated to the students' presentations. Attendance is compulsory. It is expected that students have read the required readings for a specific week and are prepared to discuss them. In the classes, the most important points raised in the lecture will be discussed in more detail, and we will extend the perspective by looking at broader issues.

Bibliography

  • Bernauer, Thomas. (2013) 'Climate Change Politics', in Annual Review of Political Science. vol. 16 (1) , pp.421-448
  • Vogel, David. (2008-06) 'Private Global Business Regulation', in Annual Review of Political Science. vol. 11 (1) , pp.261-282
  • Harrison, Kathryn; Sundstrom, Lisa McIntosh. (c2010) Global commons, domestic decisions: the comparative politics of climate change, Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
  • Hasenclever, Andreas; Mayer, Peter; Rittberger, Volker. (1997) Theories of international regimes, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. vol. 55
  • O'Riordan, Timothy; Jordan, Andrew. (1995) 'The Precautionary Principle in Contemporary Environmental Politics', in Environmental Values: White Horse Press. vol. 4 (3)
  • Fariborz Zelli; Harro van Asselt. (2013) 'The Institutional Fragmentation of Global Environmental Governance: Causes, Consequences, and Responses', in Global Environmental Politics. vol. 13 (3) , pp.1-13
  • Carter, Neil. (2007) The politics of the environment: ideas, activism, policy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Ward, Hugh. (2006) 'International Linkages and Environmental Sustainability: The Effectiveness of the Regime Network', in Journal of Peace Research: Sage Publications, Ltd. vol. 43 (2) , pp.149-166
  • Herbert P. Kitschelt. (1986) 'Political Opportunity Structures and Political Protest: Anti-Nuclear Movements in Four Democracies', in British Journal of Political Science: Cambridge University Press. vol. 16 (1) , pp.57-85
  • O'Neill, Kate. (2017) The environment and international relations, Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bernauer, Thomas; Koubi, Vally. (2009-3) 'Effects of political institutions on air quality', in Ecological Economics. vol. 68 (5) , pp.1355-1365
  • Jennifer Clapp. (2002) 'What the Pollution Havens Debate Overlooks', in Global Environmental Politics. vol. 2 (2) , pp.11-19
  • Morin, Jean-Frédéric; Jinnah, Sikina. (2018) 'The untapped potential of preferential trade agreements for climate governance', in Environmental Politics. vol. 27 (3) , pp.541-565
  • Jensen, Christian B.; Spoon, Jae-Jae. (2011-03) 'Testing the ‘Party Matters' Thesis: Explaining Progress Towards Kyoto Protocol Targets', in Political Studies. vol. 59 (1) , pp.99-115
  • Ronald B. Mitchell. (2010) International politics and the environment, London: SAGE.
  • Carter, Neil. (2018) The politics of the environment: ideas, activism, policy, New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Ringquist, Evan J.; Kostadinova, Tatiana. (2005) 'Assessing the Effectiveness of International Environmental Agreements: The Case of the 1985 Helsinki Protocol', in American Journal of Political Science. vol. 49 (1) , pp.86-102
  • Edward L. Miles. (2002) Environmental regime effectiveness: confronting theory with evidence, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Stavins, R.; Whitehead, B. (2005) 'Market-Based Environmental Policies', in Debating the earth: the environmental politics reader, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Gehring, Thomas; Oberthür, Sebastian. (2009-03) 'The Causal Mechanisms of Interaction between International Institutions', in European Journal of International Relations. vol. 15 (1) , pp.125-156
  • Dechezleprêtre, Antoine; Sato, Misato. (2017) 'The Impacts of Environmental Regulations on Competitiveness', in Review of Environmental Economics and Policy. vol. 11 (2) , pp.183-206
  • Gleditsch, Nils Petter; Nordås, Ragnhild. (2014-11) 'Conflicting messages? The IPCC on conflict and human security', in Political Geography. vol. 43, pp.82-90
  • O'Neill, Kate; dawsonera. (2009) The environment and international relations, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Abbott, Kenneth W.; Snidal, Duncan. (2000) 'Hard and Soft Law in International Governance', in International Organization: The MIT Press. vol. 54 (3) , pp.421-456
  • Helm, Carsten; Sprinz, Detlef. (2000) 'Measuring the Effectiveness of International Environmental Regimes', in The Journal of Conflict Resolution: Sage Publications, Inc. vol. 44 (5) , pp.630-652
  • Bernauer, Thomas. (2013) 'Is There a ‘Depth versus Participation’ Dilemma in International Cooperation?', in Berlin Conference on Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change.
  • Spoon, Jae-Jae; Hobolt, Sara B.; de Vries, Catherine E. (2014-05) 'Going green: Explaining issue competition on the environment', in European Journal of Political Research. vol. 53 (2) , pp.363-380
  • Michèle B. Bättig; Thomas Bernauer. (2009) 'National Institutions and Global Public Goods: Are Democracies More Cooperative in Climate Change Policy?', in International Organization: Cambridge University Press. vol. 63 (2) , pp.281-308
  • Gabriele Spilker; Vally Koubi. (2016) 'The effects of treaty legality and domestic institutional hurdles on environmental treaty ratification', in International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics. vol. 16 (2) , pp.223-238
  • Aklin, Michaël. (2015) 'Re-Exploring the Trade and Environment Nexus Through the Diffusion of Pollution', in SSRN Electronic Journal.
  • Bechtel, Michael M.; Scheve, Kenneth F. (2013) 'Mass support for global climate agreements depends on institutional design', in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America: National Academy of Sciences. vol. 110 (34) , pp.13763-13768
  • Murdoch, James C.; Sandler, Todd. (1997) 'The voluntary provision of a pure public good: The case of reduced CFC emissions and the Montreal Protocol', in Journal of Public Economics. vol. 63 (3) , pp.331-349
  • John A. List; Daniel M. Sturm. (2006) 'How Elections Matter: Theory and Evidence from Environmental Policy', in The Quarterly Journal of Economics: Oxford University Press. vol. 121 (4) , pp.1249-1281
  • So Young Kim; Yael Wolinsky-Nahmias. (2014) 'Cross-National Public Opinion on Climate Change: The Effects of Affluence and Vulnerability', in Global Environmental Politics. vol. 14 (1) , pp.79-106
  • Barnett, Jon; Adger, W. Neil. (2007) 'Climate change, human security and violent conflict', in Political Geography. vol. 26 (6) , pp.639-655
  • Hawken, P.; Lovins, A.; Lovins, L. Hunter. (2005) 'The Next Industrial Revolution', in Debating the earth: the environmental politics reader, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Buhaug, Halvard. (2010) 'Climate not to blame for African civil wars', in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America: National Academy of Sciences. vol. 107 (38) , pp.16477-16482
  • Bernauer, Thomas; Kalbhenn, Anna; Koubi, Vally; Spliker, Gabrielle. (2010) 'A Comparison of International and Domestic Sources of Global Governance Dynamics', in British Journal of Political Science: Cambridge University Press. vol. 40 (3) , pp.509-538
  • Bohringer, Christoph. (2003) 'The Kyoto Protocol: A Review and Perspectives', in Oxford Review of Economic Policy. vol. 19 (3) , pp.451-466
  • Yoshiki Yamagata; Jue Yang; Joseph Galaskiewicz. (2017) 'State power and diffusion processes in the ratification of global environmental treaties, 1981–2008', in International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics. vol. 17 (4) , pp.501-529
  • Deborah Rigling-Gallagher; Erika Weinthal. (2012) 'Business-State Relations and the Environment: The Evolving Role of Corporate Responsibility', in Comparative environmental politics: theory, practice, prospects, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press., pp.143-170
  • Szakonyi, David; Urpelainen, Johannes. (2014-07) 'Who Benefits From Economic Reform? Firms and Distributive Politics', in The Journal of Politics. vol. 76 (3) , pp.841-858
  • Koremenos, Barbara; Lipson, Charles; Snidal, Duncan. (2001) 'The Rational Design of International Institutions', in International Organization: The MIT Press. vol. 55 (4) , pp.761-799
  • Amandine Orsini; Jean-Frédéric Morin; Oran Young. (2013) 'Regime Complexes: A Buzz, a Boom, or a Boost for Global Governance?', in Global Governance. vol. 19 (1) , pp.27-39
  • Garrett Hardin. (3859) 'The Tragedy of the Commons', in Science: American Association for the Advancement of Science. vol. 162, pp.1243-1248
  • Aldy, Joseph E.; Kotchen, Matthew J.; Leiserowitz, Anthony A. (2012-8) 'Willingness to pay and political support for a US national clean energy standard', in Nature Climate Change. vol. 2 (8) , pp.596-599
  • Michele M. Betsill; Harriet Bulkeley. (2004) 'Transnational Networks and Global Environmental Governance: The Cities for Climate Protection Program', in International Studies Quarterly: Wiley. vol. 48 (2) , pp.471-493
  • Gullberg, Anne Therese. (2008-8) 'Lobbying friends and foes in climate policy: The case of business and environmental interest groups in the European Union', in Energy Policy. vol. 36 (8) , pp.2964-2972
  • Böhmelt, Tobias; Spilker, Gabriele. (2016) 'The interaction of international institutions from a social network perspective', in International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics. vol. 16 (1) , pp.67-89
  • Neumayer, Eric. (2003-6) 'Are left-wing party strength and corporatism good for the environment? Evidence from panel analysis of air pollution in OECD countries', in Ecological Economics. vol. 45 (2) , pp.203-220
  • David Schlosberg; David Carruthers. (2010) 'Indigenous Struggles, Environmental Justice, and Community Capabilities', in Global Environmental Politics. vol. 10 (4) , pp.12-35
  • Goodin, R. (2005) 'Selling Environmental Indulgences', in Debating the earth: the environmental politics reader, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Walley, NoahWhitehead, Bradley. (no date) 'It's Not Easy Being Green.', in Harvard Business Review. vol. 72 (3) , pp.46-51

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Class Presentation 20%
Coursework Final Research Paper 13/01/2020 55%
Practical Class Discussion 5%
Practical Class Presentation 20%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Federica Genovese
Module Supervisor Professor Tobias Bohmelt tbohmelt@essex.ac.uk or Module Administrator, Jamie Seakens (govpgquery@essex.ac.uk)

 

Availability
No
Yes
No

External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).

 

Further information
Government

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.