Environmental Regulation: Implementing Policy

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Richard Perkins STC.S413, Dr Michael Mason STC.S510, Dr Eugenie Dugoua and Dr Nora Sylvander


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation. This course is available on the MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MPA in Social Impact, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Environment and Development, MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change, MSc in Local Economic Development, MSc in Regulation, MSc in Risk and Finance and MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

The number of students that can be accommodated is limited. If the course is over-subscribed, places will be allocated at the Department’s discretion and a waiting list may be created. For further details, please contact your relevant Programme Coordinator.

This course cannot be taken with GY465 Concepts in Environmental Regulation or GY475 Issues in Environmental Governance.  

Course content

This course provides critical insights into the characteristics, processes and evolving dynamics of environmental policy, regulation and governance. In MT, the course considers the rationale for public policy intervention, and the factors that shape the influence of different interest groups over government policy making. It proceeds to examine the nature, design and performance of different policy instruments, together with the various influences governing policy implementation processes. In LT, the course highlights key themes in environmental regulation informed by the concept of multi-level governance. This concept suggests new alignments and forms of regulation within and across state borders: the themes chosen to explore this concept include governing technological change, international negotiations, governance beyond the state, and different rationalities of regulation (science, ethics and justice).


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

Formative coursework

Students are expected to prepare one formative essay, as well as give one presentation on a specified topic, in the MT: feedback will be provided on both. In the LT, students are required to give one presentation on an agreed topic: this will be graded with feedback.

Indicative reading

While there is no one single text that covers all aspects of the course, you are strongly advised to consult the following:

Core reading, MT:

  • D Fiorino (2006) The New Environmental Regulation, London: MIT Press;
  • J Holder and M Lee (2007) Environmental Protection Law and Policy (2nd edition), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press;
  • S Bell, D McGillivray, O Pedersen, E Lees and E Stokes (2017) Environmental Law (9th edition), Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Core reading, LT:

  • S Barrett (2005) Environment and Statecraft: The Strategy of Environmental Treaty-Making, Oxford: Oxford University Press;
  • A Gupta and M Mason (eds.) (2014) Transparency in Global Environmental Governance, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press;
  • S Piattoni (2010) The Theory of Multi-level Governance, Oxford: Oxford University Press;
  • A Randall (2011) Risk and Precaution, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Exam (75%, duration: 3 hours) in the summer exam period.
Essay (25%, 3000 words) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 19.1
Merit 56.6
Pass 22.1
Fail 2.2

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2018/19: 43

Average class size 2018/19: 15

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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