IR467      Half Unit
International Political Economy of the Environment

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Robert Falkner CLM5.05


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 International Affairs (LSE and Peking University), MSc in International Political Economy, MSc in International Political Economy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in International Political Economy (Research), MSc in International Relations, MSc in International Relations (Research), MSc in Management, MSc in Management (CEMS MIM), MSc in Management (MiM Exchange) and MSc in Regulation. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

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.


10 hours of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the MT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of seminars in the LT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of seminars in the ST.


1. Introduction: The rise of global environmentalism in international politics

2. States and foreign environmental policy

3. Nonstate actors (NGOs and business) in global environmental politics

4. International environmental regimes and regime effectiveness

5. International trade and global environmental protection

6. Global finance, aid and sustainable development

7. Multinational corporations and private environmental governance

8. Climate change: international negotiations and multi-level governance

9. Biosafety: scientific uncertainty and the politics of precaution

10. Deforestation: non-regimes and private governance

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 2 essays in the MT.

Indicative reading

Andresen, S., E. L. Boasson and G. Hønneland (2012). International Environmental Agreements: An Introduction. London, Routledge.

Biermann, F. and P. Pattberg, Eds. (2012). Global Environmental Governance Reconsidered. Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press.

Chasek, P. S. and L. M. Wagner (2012). The Roads from Rio: Lessons Learned from Twenty Years of Multilateral Environmental Negotiations. New York, RFF Press.

Clapp, J. and E. Helleiner (2012). "International political economy and the environment: back to the basics?" International Affairs 88(3): 485-501.

Clapp, J. and P. Dauvergne (2011). Paths to a Green World: The Political Economy of the Global Environment. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press.

Falkner, R. (2008). Business Power and Conflict in International Environmental Politics. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

Falkner, R., Ed. (2013). The Handbook of Global Climate and Environment Policy. Cheltenham, John Wiley & Sons.

Hoffmann, M. J. (2011). Climate Governance at the Crossroads: Experimenting with a Global Response after Kyoto. New York, Oxford University Press.

Young, O. R., L. A. King and H. Schroeder, Eds. (2008). Institutions and Environmental Change: Principal Findings, Applications, and Research Frontiers. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

The final examination lasts 2 hours and students will be asked to answer 2 out of 8 questions.

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2015/16: Unavailable

Average class size 2015/16: Unavailable

Controlled access 2015/16: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills