GV3L2 Half Unit
The Politics and Policy of Climate Change and Sustainability
This information is for the 2022/23 session.
Dr Michael Lerner CBG 4.21
This course is available on the BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics, BSc in Politics and Data Science, BSc in Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics and History, BSc in Politics and International Relations and BSc in Politics and Philosophy. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.
Prior coursework in public policy, comparative politics, or equivalent. A basic understanding of the physical science of climate change would be advantageous.
This course introduces students to the political dynamics underlying environmental governance and investigates the ways in which politics and policy shape the pace of sustainable transitions, attempts to mitigate climate change, and the struggle to adapt to a more uncertain climate.
The course provides a survey of core and emerging topics in environmental politics and policy, such as climate obstruction, environmental authoritarianism, and the governance of geoengineering. A unifying theme of the course will be its frequent attention to the political economy of climate (in)action. The course will also offer foundational instruction in the use of the comparative method to describe and explain variation in environmental politics. This course focuses primarily, but not exclusively, on domestic environmental politics in advanced industrialized democracies.
10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT.
There will also be two supplementary recorded lectures on 1) the comparative method and 2) concepts and measurement in political science.
There will be a reading week in Week 6 of the Lent Term.
Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the LT.
Bernstein, Steven, and Matthew Hoffmann. “Climate politics, metaphors and the fractal carbon trap.” Nature Climate Change 9.12 (2019): 919-925.
Seto, Karen C., et al. “Carbon lock-in: Types, causes, and policy implications.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources 41 (2016): 425-452.
Parris, Thomas M., and Robert W. Kates. “Characterizing a sustainability transition: Goals, targets, trends, and driving forces.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 100.14 (2003): 8068-8073.
Meckling, Jonas. “Oppose, Support, or Hedge? Distributional Effects, Regulatory Pressure, and Business Strategy in Environmental Politics.” Global Environmental Politics 15.2 (2015): 19-37.
Stroup, Sarah S., and Wendy H. Wong. The Authority Trap. Cornell University Press (2017). Chapter 1.
Finnegan, Jared J. “Institutions, climate change, and the foundations of long-term policymaking.” Comparative Political Studies (2022).
Baldwin, Elizabeth, Sanya Carley, and Sean Nicholson-Crotty. “Why do countries emulate each other’s policies? A global study of renewable energy policy diffusion.” World Development 120 (2019): 29-45.
Stokes, Leah C. Short Circuiting Policy: Interest Groups and the Battle over Clean Energy and Climate Policy in the American States. Oxford University Press (2020). Chapter 1.
Blog post (20%) in the LT.
Research paper (80%) in the ST.
Students will write two blog posts (one in the first five weeks of the term, one in the last five weeks of the term, 9 opportunities total), of which one will be submitted for assessment (750 words).
The research paper will consist of a comparative case analysis of 2500 words.
Total students 2021/22: Unavailable
Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable
Capped 2021/22: No
Value: Half Unit
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