GY327      Half Unit
Global Environmental Governance

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Michael Mason PAN.10.01A


This course is available on the BA in Geography, BSc in Accounting and Finance, BSc in Economic History and Geography, BSc in Environment and Development, BSc in Environmental Policy with Economics 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 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 recent and current research: these approaches are referred to as subsequent lectures address particular actor groups, processes and issues. Students are encouraged to think critically about the ways in which the regulation of global environmental risk is framed and politically negotiated.


In the Department of Geography and Environment, teaching will be delivered through a combination of classes/seminars, pre-recorded lectures, live lectures and other supplementary interactive live activities

This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures across Lent Term. 

Students on this course will have a reading week in Lent Term Week 6.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce a formative essay (1500 words) in the Lent Term.

Indicative reading

  • Betsill, M.M., Hochstetler, K. and Stevis, D. (eds.) (2014) Advances in international environmental politics, second edition, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Biermann, F. (2014) Earth system governance: World politics in the Anthropocene, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Fuentes-George, K. (2016) Between preservation and exploitation: Transnational advocacy networks and conservation in developing countries, Cambridge, MIT: MIT Press.
  • Gupta, A. and Mason, M. (2014) Transparency in global environmental governance: Critical perspectives, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • O'Neill, K. (2017) The environment and international relations, second edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Park, S. and T. Kramarz (2019) Global environmental governance and the accountability trap, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


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

The Summer Term exam (students select two from five questions to answer) may be administered online (same question format but four recommended study hours) depending on the public health situation.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2019/20: 35

Average class size 2019/20: 12

Capped 2019/20: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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