International Political Economy of the Environment

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Robert Falkner


This course is available on the MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change, MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation, MSc in Global Politics, MSc in Global Politics (Global Civil Society), MSc in International Affairs (LSE and Peking University), MSc in International Political Economy, MSc in International Political Economy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in International Relations, MSc in International Relations (Research), MSc in Management, MSc in Management (CEMS MIM), MSc in Political Science and Political Economy, MSc in Public Administration and Government (LSE and Peking University), MSc in Regulation and MSc in Regulation (Research). This course is not available as an outside option.

All students are required to obtain permission from the Teacher Responsible by completing the Student Statement box on the online application form linked to course selection on LSE for You. Admission is not guaranteed.

Course content

An introduction to concepts and issues in the study of international environmental politics, with special emphasis on the political economy of environmental protection. Environmentalism and the greening of international society; ecological perspectives on international political economy; domestic sources of environmental diplomacy; environmental leadership in international negotiations; international environmental regimes and their effectiveness; the role of nonstate actors (business, NGOs, scientists); corporate environmentalism; private environmental governance; trade and environment; international environmental aid; greening foreign direct investment; climate change; ozone layer depletion; biosafety regulation; deforestation. Watch a short introductory video on this course:


10 hours of lectures and 12 hours of seminars in the MT. 8 hours of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to submit three 2,000-word essays to be marked by the seminar teacher and to present at least three seminar topics.

Indicative reading

Axelrod, R.S., Downie, D.L., and Vig, N.J., Eds. (2010). The Global Environment: Institutions, Law, and Policy. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press; Bernstein, S. (2001). The Compromise of Liberal Environmentalism. New York: Columbia University Press; Betsill, M.M., Hochstetler, K., and Stevis, D., Eds. (2006). Palgrave Advances in International Environmental Politics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan; Clapp, J., and Dauvergne, P. (2011). Paths to a Green World: The Political Economy of the Global Environment. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; Elliott, L. (2004). The Global Politics of the Environment. London: Macmillan; Falkner, R., (2008). Business Power and Conflict in International Environmental Politics. Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan; Falkner, R., Ed. (2007). The International Politics of Genetically Modified Food: Diplomacy, Trade and Law. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan; Falkner, R., ed.(2013), Handbook of Global Climate and Environmental Policy. Wiley-Blackwell; Helm, D. and C. Hepburn, eds. (2009), The Economics and Politics of Climate Change, Oxford: Oxford University Press; Newell, P. and M. Paterson (2010 Climate Capitalism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; Victor, D. (2011) Global Warming Gridlock, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.

The paper contains about 12 questions of which three are to be answered.

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2012/13: 24

Average class size 2012/13: 12

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills