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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Environmental Governance and Policy (PGGE11257)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryContemporary society faces many interrelated environmental and sustainability challenges such as those surrounding issues of energy, water and food provision and access, terrestrial and marine biodiversity loss, climate change etc. State and non-state actors approach and attempt to address these challenges in many different ways across multiple levels, from local self-governance through to international agreements. The term Environmental Governance refers to the approaches, norms, instruments, actors and institutions involved in attempts to address sustainability issues. The course is designed to provide an introduction to key debates in environmental governance and policy, drawing on academic literature and case studies of environmental governance practices to analyse these key debates from different perspectives. The course equips students to better understand policy and the often contested nature of policy processes and negotiations at different scales, from local to global. It also focuses upon evaluative frameworks for policy, considering the importance of effectiveness, efficiency, equity and legitimacy. The course challenges participants to think across disciplinary boundaries as we apply and compare insights from human geography, environmental/ecological economics, environmental studies, political sciences, science and technology studies and development studies. Participants analyse governance and policy case studies presented by practitioners throughout the course, in order to engage in fruitful dialogue between academic insights and practitioners real-life experience and case studies. This course is designed to deepen students exposure to advanced level environmental social sciences.
Course description Learning will be facilitated through interactive lectures, group discussions of literature and policy reports, class debates, experiential learning through serious games, and practitioner guest talks. The course is structured around the key debates in environmental governance and policy. Each debate will be approached from different social science perspectives to enable students to reflect from an interdisciplinary perspective on each debate. For each debate some of the main policies and practices employed by different state and non-state actors, across levels, will be discussed. The key debates to be covered include:
Governing the commons; Market Environmentalism; Power in Environmental Governance; Transitions governance; Private sector engagement; Adaptive governance; International Environmental Governance; the roles of parliament and government, and Science-Policy-Practice interfaces. Three tools for analysing environmental governance and policy will be discussed during the course: Institutional Analysis; Discourse Analysis and Power Analysis.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  43
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% Coursework:
1. Analyse an environmental governance practice or policy initiated by a governmental body (at any level), civil society group or company using one of the three tools for analysis discussed in the course (75%) (2000 words)
2. Based on your analysis for assignment 1, write a short blog post for a stakeholder involved in the governance practice or policy, in which you convincingly set out your recommendations. The stakeholder could be in favour of the policy/practice, or oppose it (25%) (800 words).

Feedback Participants will submit a formative assignment which is an essay outline . This will be submitted in week 5. A student led peer review process will be organised for giving and receiving feedback on the formative assignment.

General feedback from lecturers will also be provided at the peer review session.

Additionally, discussions in class sessions will allow students to gain informal, immediate feedback on their thoughts on the key debates, allowing for further personal reflection throughout the course. A Q&A session towards the end of the course will allow for students to ask specific questions.

Feedback on the summative work will be given using the marking scheme.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. To classify and compare different Environmental Governance practices employed by multiple actors across different levels
  2. To be able to engage in critical discussions around the key debates of Environmental Governance
  3. To be able to contribute to academic and policy discussions on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  4. To develop skills in applying and integrating interdisciplinary academic insights to real-life case studies of Environmental Governance
  5. To conduct analyses of Environmental Governance practices
Reading List
Adger, N. et al. (2003) Governance for sustainability: towards a `thick' analysis of environmental decisionmaking, Environment and Planning A 35, pp. 1095 - 1110

Adger, W. N. and A. Jordan (2009). Governing Sustainability. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Betsill, M., Hochstetler, K., Stevis, D. (Eds) (2014) Advances in International Environmental Politics. Hampshire, Palgrave Macmillan.

Betsill, M. and Corell, E. (eds) (2007) NGO Diplomacy: The Influence of Nongovernmental Organizations in International Environmental Negotiations, MIT Press

Biermann, F., K. Abbott, S. Andresen, K. Backstrand, S. Bernstein, M. M. Betsill, H. Bulkeley, B. Cashore, J. Clapp, C. Folke, A. Gupta, J. Gupta, P. M. Haas, A. Jordan, N. Kanie, T. Kluvankova-Oravska, L. Lebel, D. Liverman, J. Meadowcroft, R. B. Mitchell, P. Newell, S. Oberthur, L. Olsson, P. Pattberg, R. Sanchez-Rodriguez, H. Schroeder, A. Underdal, S. C. Vieira, C. Vogel, O. R. Young, A. Brock and R. Zondervan (2012). "Navigating the Anthropocene: Improving Earth System Governance." Science 335(6074): 1306-1307.

Biermann, F, Pattberg, P. and Zelli, F. (eds). (2010). Global Climate Governance Beyond 2012: Architecture, Agency and Adaptation, Cambridge University Press.

Blaikie, P. (1995) Changing environments or changing views? A political ecology for developing countries, Geography 80 pp.203

Bulkeley, H. and Newell, P. (2015) Governing Climate Change. Second Edition. Routledge, London.

Death, C., & Gabay, C., (2015) Doing Biopolitics Differently? Radical Potential in the Post-2015 MDG and SDG Debates, Globalizations 12 (4) pp. 597-612.

Dryzek, J. (2005) The Politics of the Earth: Environmental Discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Evans, J. P. (2011) Environmental Governance. Routledge, London

Folke, C., Hahn, T., Olsson, P. & Norberg, J. (2005) Adaptive Governance of Social-ecological systems, Annual Review of Environmental Resources 30

Glasbergen, P., Bierman, F., Mol, A. (eds) (2007) Partnerships, Governance and Sustainable Development: Reflections on Theory and Practice Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Griggs, D., Stafford-Smith, M., Gaffney, O., Rockström, J., Öhman, M.C., Shyamsundar, P., Steffen, W., Glaser, G., Kanie, N., & Noble, N., (2013) Policy: Sustainable development goals for people and planet, Nature 495 pp. 305-307

Jorgensen, M.W., Phillips, L.J. (2002) Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method. SAGE

Keeley, J., Scoones, I. (2003) Understanding Environmental Policy Processes: Cases from Africa Earthscan, London.
Kütting, G. and Lipschutz, R. (Eds.) (2009) Environmental Governance: Power and Knowledge in a Local-Global World. Routledge, London.
Lange, P., Driessen, P.J., Sauer, A., Bornemann, B., Burger, P. (2013) Governing Towards Sustainability¿Conceptualizing Modes of Governance, Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 15(3), p403-425

Leach, M., I. Scoones and A. Stirling (2010). Dynamic Sustainabilities: Technology, Environment, Social Justice, Earthscan. London

Lemos, M. and Agrawal, A. (2006). Environmental governance. Annual Review of Environmental Resources 31: 297-325

Loorbach, D., Frantzeskaki, F. & Avelino, F. (2017) Sustainability Transitions Research: Transforming Science and Practice for Societal Change, Annual Review of Environment and Resources 42 pp. 599-626

Meadowcroft, J., Langhelle, O., Ruud, A. (2012) Governance, Democracy and Sustainable Development: Moving Beyond the Impasse. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Ostrom, E. (1990) Governing the Commons: The evolution of institutions for collective action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Peet, R., Robbins, P. & Watts, M. (2011) Global Political Ecology. New York: Routledge

Robbins, P. (2012) Political Ecology: A critical introduction (2nd edition) Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell (read Part 1: 1 Political versus Apolitical Ecologies (p11))

Rotmans, J. & Loorbach, D. (2009) Complexity and Transition Management, Journal of Industrial Ecology 13 (2) pp. 184-196

Wunder, S. (2015) Revisiting the concept of payments for environmental services, Ecological Economics 117: 234-243

Young, O. R. (2002). "Evaluating the success of international environmental regimes: where are we now?" Global Environmental Change 12(1): 73-77
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course creates space for students to develop their skills in confidently articulating complex ideas and insights on environmental governance and policy. These skills are developed through class debates and discussions, group presentations, and engaging in peer feedback. Professional skills in writing for different audiences will be developed through the assignments where both an academic paper and a blog post will be written. Through fieldtrips and guest lectures, students will be exposed to practitioners, their organisations and work, thus providing employability orientation and increasing their professional network. Personal skills in working independently, planning time successfully and working in groups will be developed through class activities and the assignments. Confidence in speaking in public, listening to others' views, reflecting on personal views and providing feedback to others will be encouraged through group exercises, debates and peer feedback.
Course organiserDr Clare Barnes
Tel: (0131 6)50 2287
Course secretaryMs Kathryn Will
Tel: (0131 6)50 2624
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