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Environmental and Planetary Politics

STVN25 – Political Science: Environmental and Planetary Politics, 15 credits, Second Cycle. Autumn term.

This is a political science course offered at the advanced level as an elective course in master’s programs or as a single subject course.

Course content 

Over the past decades it has become increasingly clear that human-driven overconsumption, pollution, biodiversity loss, and climate change endanger the habitability of the Earth. Environmental politics involves the study of green political theories, green movements and parties, international agreements and environmental policies. Planetary politics is characterised by eco-centric planetary relations that can only be understood and addressed holistically. The course introduces how both environmental politics and planetary politics are needed to understand why appropriate political action to address overconsumption, pollution issues, biodiversity loss, and climate change have not been achieved and why such action currently remains more or less intangible. 

Understanding and explaining these crucial challenges require theoretical and empirical knowledge of power asymmetries, diverging interests and conflicting norms as obstacles to targeted political action and study areas for environmental and planetary politics. At the same time, more critical approaches are needed to comprehend how the current political culture perpetuates rather than addresses environmental degradation. The course thus provides an introduction to the empirical evidence, theoretical understandings, and analytical tools needed to grasp environmental and planetary politics. The course explores environmental and planetary politics in four parts: concepts and theories; policy fields; political levels, and green/sustainable futures.

Course design 

The course is absed on Active Learning, a group-based pedagogy requiring active participation and group work. Learning activities include lectures, case study work, group-based seminars, and coursework assessment. Participation in all elements is compulsory. Students who have been unable to participate due to circumstances beyond their own control will be able to compensate this compulsory participation.

Literature (pdf, new window) 
Syllabus (pdf, new window)