Global Environmental Politics

Subject 672-386 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Thirty contact hours per semester. Two 1-hour lectures per week for 10 weeks and a 1-hour tutorial per week for 10 weeks. The lecture and tutorial programs are staggered and cover the 12 weeks of semester
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Usually a first-year politics subject.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Assoc Prof Robyn Erkersley
Subject Overview:

This subject provides a comprehensive and critical introduction to global environmental politics. Students will encounter the political and institutional challenges raised by global environmental problems, the diverse and often competing claims of the modern environment movement and its critics, and the main normative and institutional responses to global ecological problems. Students will be introduced to the ways in which mainstream international relations theories (notably neorealism and neoliberalism) have conceptualised and responded to global environmental problems. These mainstream 'state-centric approaches' are contrasted with alternative and more critical readings of global environmental problems from the emerging perspective of global political ecology. The competing theoretical perspectives are used to explore critically the tensions between the discourses and institutions of global environmental governance and global economic governance against the background of new environmental issues, actors, interests and agendas. Topics addressed include the global climate change negotiations; the tensions between economic neo-liberalism, trade and the environment; the role of non-state actors such as transnational NGOs, scientists and corporations in environmental diplomacy; and the ecological security debate. On completion of the subject, students should be able to comprehend and critically evaluate the major political claims and conflicts raised by global ecological problems as well as the major normative and institutional responses at the global level.

Assessment: An essay of 3000 words 75% (due in the week prior to the mid-semester break) and a 1-hour take-home exam 25% (due at the end of semester).
Prescribed Texts: Prescribed Texts:A subject reader will be available.
Breadth Options: This subject is a level 2 or level 3 subject and is not available to new generation degree students as a breadth option in 2008.
This subject or an equivalent will be available as breadth in the future.
Breadth subjects are currently being developed and these existing subject details can be used as guide to the type of options that might be available.
2009 subjects to be offered as breadth will be finalised before re-enrolment for 2009 starts in early October.
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to research through the competent use of the library and other information sources, and be able to define areas of inquiry and methods of research in the preparation of essays;

  • be able to conceptualise theoretical problems, form judgements and arguments and communicate critically, creatively and theoretically through essay writing, tutorial discussion and presentations;

  • be able to communicate knowledge ideologically and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion;

  • be able to manage and organise workloads for recommended reading, the completion of essays and assignments and examination revision;

  • be able to participate in teamwork through small group discussions.

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