DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU

Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Climate Change Policy and Governance
Module Code LG5034
School School of Law & Government
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Sadhbh O'Neill
Semester 2: Sadhbh O'Neill
Autumn: Sadhbh O'Neill
Module TeachersSadhbh O'Neill
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module offers students an advanced introduction to policy and governance of climate change mitigation and adaptation. It sets the scene by introducing competing theoretical perspectives on sustainability transitions, drawing on comparative politics, techno-economic, and sociotechnical transitions perspectives. The module then introduces students to the diversity of governance levels, actors, and instruments. These theoretical and empirical perspectives are then brought to bear on four key sectoral areas: electricity generation; heat and transport; agriculture and land use; and adaptation and resilience. Overall, the module offers students a broad survey of the evolving academic field of climate change policy and governance, and provides a basis for pursuing further research in these areas.

Learning Outcomes

1. Critically interrogate competing theoretical perspectives on governance of climate change mitigation and adaptation
2. Identify key actors and their roles at different governance scales in responding to climate change
3. Analyse and appraise different policy instrument choices with respect to climate governance
4. Understand the challenges posed by climate change in key sectors and possible response to these challenges
5. Apply the theoretical and empirical insights learned to sectoral climate policy problems, and use this knowledge to undertake a policy analysis of a relevant policy

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22No Description
Assignment Completion48No Description
Independent Study180No Description
Total Workload: 250

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 and overview

Topic 2
Comparative politics approaches to climate governance

Topic 3
Sociotechnical and techno-economic perspectives

Topic 4
National government in a multilevel context

Topic 5
Business, civil society and governance beyond the state

Topic 6
Policy instrument choice: emissions trading versus carbon tax

Topic 7
Electricity generation

Topic 8
Heat and transport

Topic 9
Agriculture and land use

Topic 10
Adaptation and resilience

Topic 11
Looking forward: Climate governance in turbulent times

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Research Paper3,000 word research paper60%n/a
Report(s)2,000 word sectoral policy analysis exercise40%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

  • Paul F. Steinberg and Stacy D. VanDeveer (eds.): 2012, Comparative Environmental Politics: Theory, Practice, and Prospects, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA,
  • Kathryn Harrison and Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom (eds.): 2010, Global Commons, Domestic Decisions: The Comparative Politics of Climate Change, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA,
  • David Held, Angus Hervey and Marika Theros (eds.): 2011, The Governance of Climate Change: Science, Economics, Politics & Ethics, Polity Press, Cambridge,
  • Harriet A. Bulkeley and Peter Newell: 2015, Governing Climate Change, 2nd edition, Routledge, Abingdon,
  • Guri Bang, Arild Underdal and Steinar Andresen (eds.): 2015, The Domestic Politics of Global Climate Change: Key Actors in International Climate Cooperation, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham,
  • Rüdiger K. W. Wurzel, James Connelly and Duncan Liefferink (eds.): 2017, The European Union in International Climate Change Politics: Still Taking a Lead?, Routledge, Abingdon,
  • Karin Bäckstrand and Eva Lövbrand (eds.): 2015, Research Handbook on Climate Governance, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham,
  • Max T. Boykoff (ed.): 2010, The Politics of Climate Change: A Survey, Routledge, Abingdon,
  • Anthony Giddens: 2011, The Politics of Climate Change, 2nd edition, Polity Press, Cambridge,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
GCCDGraduate Certificate in Climate Change
MCCMSc in Climate Change Policy Media & Soc
MPPMSc in Public Policy

My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement