Course code EDS348

EDS348 Global Environmental Governance

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2022 - 2023 .

Course responsible: Guri Bang
Teachers: Pål Olav Vedeld
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Landscape and Society
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel, .
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2010-2011
Preferential right:
Course contents:
This course will examine national, regional, and international policies designed to address global environmental challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation, unsustainable consumption, chemical hazards, and energy system transitions. The class will explore why environmental problems occur, identify the characteristics and drivers of global environmental problems, and discuss their underlying causes. We will critically examine the range of policy responses developed by society to address environmental challenges, including international environmental agreements, national environmental policies, and transnational governance arrangements initiated by non-state actors. Environmental governance is often characterized by conflict, centered around the distributional, geographical, and social justice implications of policies, and students will learn both about conflict drivers and potential solutions. The class will learn how norms, rules, institutions, and practices structure the relations between state and non-state actors at different governance levels (local, national, and international). We will also address the linkages and interactions between governance levels. Students will also learn how to evaluate policy responses designed to ameliorate environmental problems, focusing on social justice aspects and legitimacy. The course will provide in-depth knowledge about the main actors of global environmental governance, including states, international organizations, transnational governance actors, private companies, and non-governmental organizations. Environmental policies in key actors like the United States, China, Brazil, India and the EU will be used as examples. 
Learning outcome:

Knowledge goals:

  • Acquire comprehensive knowledge of the design and practices of environmental politics and governance
  • Gain deep insights into environmental policy processes at different levels of governance, including the role of different actors, interests, institutions, and ideas involved in such processes
  • Develop capacity to analyze environmental policies by employing theories and methods for policy analysis
  • Know how to evaluate the design of key international environmental agreements, conventions, and protocols, how they function, and how they interact with national and transnational environmental governance initiatives.

Skills goals:

  • Critically evaluate and analyze environmental governance at the global, national, and local levels
  • Critically analyze existing environmental governance structures
  • Actively participate and contribute to academic discussions about environmental governance
  • Provide and receive constructive review on academic texts and presentations
  • Give presentations on environmental governance topics
  • Participate constructively in teamwork

General goals:

  • Develop competency in critical thinking around environmental governance
  • Reflection on own and other people's environmental attitudes, values and norms
Learning activities:
Standard lectures will be combined with problem-based learning and group discussions. The course includes seminars where students are engaged in active learning through making a podcast (group work), learning how to write popular science texts (op-ed/column, individual assignment), and giving presentations in groups. The course also includes an excursion to Telemark where students meet and learn from the practices of regional- and local level environmental governance representatives.
Teaching support:
Seminars, discussions in class, and group/individual supervision
A textbook on global environmental governance is the core reading requirement. In addition, course readings include a set of selected journal papers and book chapters. A complete reading list will be available on Canvas in early January.
Bachelor degree 
Recommended prerequisites:
Background in basic social science theory
Mandatory activity:
Group work with associated seminars. Excursion. Students are expected to attend a minimum of 60% of the classes offered by the course.

Continuous assessment: 

- Group work 20%


- Individual assignment 20%

Write an op-ed/column

- Written exam (3 hrs) 60%.

Exam in English only. Evaluation A-F

Nominal workload:
Total work load: 250 hrs. Lectures: 30 hrs. Group discussions, seminars and student presentations: 10 hrs.  Excursion: 2.5 days/20 hrs. Supervision: 2 hrs . Self-study, writing of term paper, preparation of presentations etc.: 185 hrs. Exam: 3hrs.   
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to Masters level education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)
Reduction of credits:
Type of course:
Lectures: 30 hrs. Group discussions, seminars and student presentations: 10 hrs.  Excursion: 2.5 days/20 hrs. Supervision: 2 hrs. 
An external examiner will approve of the arrangements for evaluation and evaluate a selected number of the final written exams.
Allowed examination aids: A2 No calculator, other aids as specifiedOnly dictionary allowed
Examination details: Combined assessment: Letter grades