Environmental Governance

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Michael Mason STC.510, Dr Carmen Marchiori KGS.102 and Dr Richard Perkins STC.413


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Environment and Development and BSc in Environmental Policy with Economics. This course is available on the BA in Geography and BSc in Geography with Economics. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Course content

This course seeks to explore and critically interrogate the evolving patterns and processes of environmental governance. The course begins by introducing different conceptions of environmental governance, highlighting the multiple actors, scales and interactions involved. It then considers the role of the territorial state, focusing on the organisations of national environmental governance, and how public environmental policy is made and implemented. The next part switches focus to the role of corporations in environmental governance, outlining the motives, practices and outcomes of corporate environmentalism. Lent Term provision examines the issues, actors and processes that shape environmental governance at the transnational and global scales. Introductory lectures on the global environmental policy process introduce different scholarly perspectives informing current research (e.g. regime analysis, critical political economy and constructivism): these perspectives will be referred to as subsequent lectures address particular actor groups and issues (e.g. sustainable energy transitions, climate security). Students will be encouraged to think critically about the ways in which the regulation of global environmental risk is framed and politically contested.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of classes in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce a minimum of three 1,500 word formative essays/projects during the year.

Indicative reading

Adger, W.N. and A. Jordan (eds) (2009) Governing sustainability. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Blowfield, M. and A. Murray (2011) Corporate responsibility: A critical introduction, 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Carter, N. (2007) The politics of the environment: Ideas, activism and policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Evans, J.P. (2012) Environmental governance. London: Routledge.

O'Neill, K. (2009) The environment and international relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Exam (75%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 2500 words) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2012/13 combined)

Classification % of students
First 36.4
2:1 54.5
2:2 9.1
Third 0
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2012/13: 26

Average class size 2012/13: 14

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication

Course survey results

(2011/12 - 2012/13 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 60.7%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)