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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Environmental Change and World Politics
Module Code LG5008
School School of Law & Government
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Daniel Marks
Semester 2: Daniel Marks
Autumn: Daniel Marks
Module TeachersDaniel Marks
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module offers an introduction to the major themes and issues in the study of environmental change and world politics. Environmental degradation and change has become an increasingly prominent theme in world politics, particularly against a backdrop of rapidly-rising greenhouse gas emissions, increasing frequency of extreme weather events which may be linked to climate change, biodiversity loss, and other critical challenges. The module traces the rise of environmental change as an issue on the global policy agenda since the landmark Stockholm conference in 1972, and views these developments through five different analytical lenses: agency, including that of both state and non-state actors; architecture of governance at different levels; accountability, including questions of legitimacy; allocation of environmental resources and equity of distribution; and adaptiveness of governance systems. The second part of the module involves a class simulation of the UN climate change negotiations in which students are allocated to a country/region delegation. They are required to research the position of their country region and then represent that position in the simulation.

Learning Outcomes

1. Critically evaluate strengths and weaknesses of contending approaches to the study of comparative and international environmental policy
2. Understand systematically the utility of different analytical lenses for comprehending the challenges of global environmental degradation
3. Develop and defend a negotiating position for an allocated country/region in international climate change negotiations
4. Participate actively as part of a group delegation in a climate change negotiation simulation, and critically reflect on the exercise

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Seminars2010 two-hour seminars involving a lecture by the module coordinator followed by student-led class discussion
Workshop3Climate change negotiations simulation class
Assignment Completion50Research and writing of research paper
Assignment Completion30Research and writing of briefing paper
Assignment Completion10Writing of climate change simulation reflection paper
Independent Study137Weekly reading and class preparation
Independent Study226No Description
Lecture24No Description
Total Workload: 500

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Topic 1
Introduction to global environmental politics

Topic 2
Agency in global environmental politics: state and non-state actors

Topic 3
Architectures of environmental governance

Topic 4
Accountability and legitimacy

Topic 5
Equity and allocation

Topic 6
Adaptiveness of environmental governance systems

Topic 7
National responses to climate change in high income countries

Topic 8
National responses to climate change in middle income countries

Topic 9
National responses to climate change in low income countries

Topic 10
Climate change negotiation simulation exercise

Topic 11
The future of global environmental governance

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Assignment3,000 word research paper50%n/a
Report(s)1,500 delegation briefing paper30%n/a
ParticipationPreparation for and participation in climate change negotiation simulation: students will be required to participate in online discussion forum with their delegation and then participate in the simulation itself5%n/a
Reflective journalStudents are required to write a 1,000 word reflection paper reflecting on their participation in the climate change negotiation simulation.15%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Frank Biermann: 2014, Earth System Governance: World Politics in the Anthropocene, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA,
  • Kate O’Neill: 2017, The Environment and International Relations, 2, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
  • Jennifer Clapp and Peter Dauvergne: 2011, aths to a Green Word: The Political Economy of the Global Environment, 2, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA,
  • Robert Falkner: 2013, The Handbook of Global Climate and Environment Policy, Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken, NJ,
  • Paul F. Steinberg and Stacy D. VanDeveer: 2012, Comparative Environmental Politics: Theory, Practice, and Prospects, MIT Press, Cambridge,
  • Ronald B. Mitchell: 2010, International Politics and the Environment, Sage, London,
  • Joyeeta Gupta: 2014, The History of Global Climate Governance, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
  • Kathryn Harrison and Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom: 2010, Global Commons, Domestic Decisions: The Comparative Politics of Climate Change, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
IMSISSIntnl. Master Security Intelligence
MARIMA in Refugee Integration
MCCMSc in Climate Change Policy Media & Soc
MIRMA in International Relations
MISCMA in International Security & Conflict
MPPMSc in Public Policy

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