GV591-7-FY-CO:
Environmental Politics

The details
2019/20
Government
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Postgraduate: Level 7
Current
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
30
13 August 2019

 

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

 

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Key module for

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Module description

This module offers a comprehensive introduction to the understanding of the domestic politics of environmental problems in a comparative (cross-national as well as sub-national) perspective.

The module begins by examining domestic views on the state of the environment and possible paths along which these views might change. We then move on to consider environmental politics at various different levels of political behaviour and organisation, starting with individual-level values, before moving up the organized politics of the environmental movement, interest groups, political parties, governmental institutions and courts. At each level we consider what drives approaches to the environment and what the consequences of those approaches are for political organisation and action.
How can the international community effectively address global environmental problems, e.g., the depletion of the ozone layer and climate change? In the spring term, the 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

• To provide students with the necessary analytical foundations to conduct theoretical and empirical comparative research on the environment.
• To engage with a wide range of applied material relating to comparative environmental politics.
• To generate ideas and design a study that engages with contemporary environmental issues in a theoretically sound and empirically aware perspective.

Module learning outcomes

Students will learn how political scientists tackle questions such as: ‘when do businesses and social movements support environmental policy?’ and ‘why are some government more “green” than others?’. They will also learn how to use empirical evidence to test major political theories of environmental politics

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Autumn Term: Each weekly seminar comprises 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. Spring Term: The module runs over 12 weeks. The seminar comprises two 50-minute classes each week. Each session – except for the first one – will start with students' class presentations followed by discussions that deal with material from the required readings. 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 Research Paper Design 10.00%
Coursework Research Paper Autumn 13/01/2020 25.00%
Coursework Final Research Paper 28/05/2020 30.00%
Practical Participation in Class 5%
Practical Class Presentation Autumn Term 10.00%
Practical Class Presentation 1 Spring 10.00%
Practical Class Presentation 2 Spring 10.00%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Federica Genovese (Autmumn) Prof Tobias Boehmelt (Spring)
Module Supervisors Professor Tobias Bohmelt tbohmelt@essex.ac.uk or Dr Federica Genovese fgenov@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 42 hours, 42 (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
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