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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

PIED5562M International Relations and the Environment

30 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Hugh Dyer

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module will provide an introduction, at postgraduate level, to the international relations of global environmental change - an important and growing area of the international agenda. Students will acquire a broad base of knowledge and understanding in the relevant issues and arguments, and be able to develop more specialised knowledge through focussed research leading to the assessed essay. On completion of the module, students should be able to analyse the emerging international relations of the environment in a global context. Transferable skills of research, presentation and writing will be developed through the course work and assessed essay. Topics covered include the environment in international relations, limits of the state, regimes in the international system, the global commons (oceans, antarctica, atmosphere, space), international agreements & institutions, non-governmental organisations & environmental activism, national public policy and the environment, environment and development, science and risk and public choice, and environmental dimensions of globalization and security.Brief Reading List:Brenton, T., The Greening of Machiavelli: The Evolution of International Environmental Politics Eckersley, R., The Green State: rethinking democracy and sovereignty Lipschutz, R. & K. Conca, The State and Social Power in Global Environmental Politics Princen, T. & M. Finger, Environmental NGOs in World Politics Vogler, J. & M. Imber, The Environment and International Relations Young, O., International Cooperation: Building Regimes for Natural Resources and the Environment


On completion of this module students will be able to:
a) Demonstrate familiarity with the central issues in the international relations of the environment;
b) Demonstrate a capacity to compare different approaches and perspectives on the environment with reference to each other, as well as their own respective strengths and weaknesses;
c) Demonstrate a capacity to link theoretical ideas to events in the international system, both historical and contemporary;
d) Apply concepts to events in the international system;
e) Present both oral and written material, of a complex discursive nature, that is logically coherent, well-structured and well-presented;
f) Undertake independent research within the overall structure of a reading list, seminar and lecture plan.


Introduction: The environment in international relations
Limits of the state
Regimes and alternative theorisations
Global commons: oceans, antarctica, atmosphere, space
International agreements & institutions
Non-governmental organisations, social movements & environmental activism
National politics & the global environment
Environment and development
Science, risk, and public choice
Environmental dimensions of globalization and security

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours278.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)298.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Non assessed draft essay

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 4,000 End of Term essay100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 11:55:13


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