IR367      Half Unit
Global Environmental Politics

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Robert Falkner CBG.8.02


This course is available on the BSc in International Relations, BSc in International Relations and Chinese, 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.


There are no prerequisites, though 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 global 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); corporate environmentalism; private environmental governance; trade and environment; international environmental aid; greening foreign direct investment; climate change; 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 LT.

Indicative reading


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

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2018/19: 15

Average class size 2018/19: 15

Capped 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills