IR367      Half Unit
Global Environmental Politics

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Robert Falkner CLM 5.05


This course is available on the BSc in International Relations, BSc in International Relations and History and BSc in Politics and International Relations. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.


Some background knowledge of international political economy, such as that provided in IR206 International Political Economy, will be useful to students taking this course.

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 10 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of classes 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.

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2016/17: Unavailable

Average class size 2016/17: 1

Capped 2016/17: Yes (15)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

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