The Politics of Climate Change (previously The Politics of the Environment and Sustainable Development)
Climate change has emerged as one of the defining issues for the 21st century. What started as a matter of scientific inquiry in the nineteenth century, and became a battleground for intergovernmental negotiations in the 1990s, is now written through the contemporary social and political world. The course moves away from studying climate change as a ‘single issue’ to instead approach it is as a ‘condition’ affecting the ways in which multiple economies and forms of social relations emerge.
This course explore the politics of climate change across a multiple set of sites ranging from the UN, the state and the city, to systems of infrastructure, social and cultural practices. This implies a closer engagement with issues such as public and private low carbon road-maps, urban designs for electric mobility, the low carbon home, the carbon conscious individual and the climate refugee. These sites are examined with the help of different conceptual and theoretical perspectives from various fields of political science, among them international relations, policy studies, comparative politics and critical social and political thought. Through fieldwork and methods of authentication the course helps the students to grasp how climate change rearticulate fundamental concerns of political science, such as power, democracy, authority, and social change.
To be eligible for the course the student must have the equivalent of one year of coursework (60 credits) in Political Science.