Environmental Regulation: Implementing Policy

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Richard Perkins, Dr Eugenie Dugoua, Dr Michael Mason and Dr Meredith Whitten 


This course is available on the MPhil/PhD in Environmental Economics and MPhil/PhD in Environmental Policy and Development. 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 or GY420 Environmental Regulation: Implementing Policy. 

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).


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

This course is delivered through a combination of seminars and lectures across both Michaelmas Term and Lent Term.

This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Michaelmas Term and Lent Term.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to prepare one formative piece of coursework in the MT: feedback will be provided. In the LT, students are required to give one presentation on an agreed topic: feedback will be provided.

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.


Essay (100%, 6000 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Geography and Environment

Total students 2021/22: Unavailable

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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