Module Details

GV591-7-SP-CO: International Environmental Politics

Note: This module is inactive. Visit the Module Directory to view modules and variants offered during the current academic year.

Year: 2017/18
Department: Government
Essex credit: 15
ECTS credit: 7.5
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: No
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: Yes

Supervisor: Professor Hugh Ward
Teaching Staff: Professor Hugh Ward
Contact details: Professor Ward e-mail or Graduate Administrator, Alex West,

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

GV591 7-SP focuses on international politics and global environmental problems. The response of the international community has been to build environmental regimes and to negotiate multi-lateral environmental agreements. After examining regime theory, we explore why many regimes are ineffective by contrasting the cases of depletion of the ozone layer and climate change. A further problem with regime governance is that it can lead to piece-meal responses to particular problems rather than a coordinated response to the overall problems posed by the global system. The idea of sustainable development might provide a focus for coordination. However, the politics of sustainable development has experienced difficulties, because of the North's unwillingness to coordinate across different problems, to make concessions on trade, and to provide funding for development in the South. We examine whether these problems are exacerbated by globalisation. Finally we explore the possibilities for enhanced environmental governance, on the one hand, and the more radical proposals put forward by the anti-globalisation movement, on the other hand.

Learning and Teaching Methods

2 hour seminar. Lectures are used to introduce ideas and topics. These will be followed by class discussion. Some topics will be covered using class presentations by students. At other times we will initiate round-table discussions based on members of the class all reading and thinking about a particular topic. We will often distribute lecture notes. These are intended to introduce significant concepts and arguments but are not a substitute for you doing the set reading.


100 per cent Coursework Mark


Two essays, Each worth 50% of the Final mark

Other details

No Final examination for this Module


  • K. O'Neill, The Environment and International Relations.

Further information