Key Debates in Environmental Governance
Instructors: Maria Kaika
This unit introduces students to the concept of environmental governance, and the main current debates around the environment. It will consider 'governance' in the broadest sense, including how the environment is controlled, manipulated, and regulated (and the contestation of these processes) by a range of actors and institutions, and the cognitive and normative ideas that underpin this process. The unit will explore a broad range of approaches that span the political spectrum from left to right, in addition to considering more contemporary debates within the field. Abstract theoretical and conceptual material is intended to complement case studies of real world issues and applied policy examples from other course units, and to prepare students intellectually for future research.
The course considers specific approaches to governing the relations between society and the environment. Influential critiques are put into play against these dominant approaches in order to encourage students to critically reflect upon contemporary approaches to environmental governance. The unit will equip students with the necessary grounding to appreciate how different political and philosophical systems can be used to organise environmental regulation. The over-riding rationale of the unit is to provide students with the ability to recognise and critique the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to environmental governance. The unit is delivered primarily through structured seminars, student presentations, and debates in order to facilitate student engagement with ideas and concepts.