Rigorous analysis and ethical reflection on the politics of global sustainability and justice.

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Political Science
Year / Level: 3
Theme(s): Climate Justice and Social Science



This course is restricted to students in year: >=3

This course analyzes the politics of global sustainability and justice, striving for critical thought that integrates both rigorous analysis and ethical reflection. The focus is on the consequences of political discourses, institutions, and power struggles for global ecological change, taking an interdisciplinary approach that does not assume a background in international relations. How, in what ways, and to what extent is global environmental politics making a difference for advancing global sustainability and justice? How and why is this changing over time? What does this suggest for the future? To answer these questions, the course analyzes topics such as the causes and consequences of unsustainable development, the contradictions of technology, the ecological shadows of consumption, the power of environmentalism as a social movement, the social justice consequences of climate change, the effectiveness of international agreements, the rising importance of city-level governance, the eco-business of multinational corporations, and the value of certification and eco-consumerism. The course concludes by assessing the merits of various pathways toward environmental sustainability and social justice.

Course Goals

The course aims to develop research, writing, and critical thinking skills. More specifically, students will gain a better understanding of the politics causing global environmental change as well as the politics shaping solutions to global problems such as climate change, deforestation, overfishing, biodiversity loss, plastic pollution, fresh water scarcity, food insecurity, and chemical contamination. Knowledge of these issues is relevant to pursuing graduate work on sustainability as well as careers in government (environment departments and foreign affairs), law (international and domestic environmental law), business (corporate social responsibility units), journalism (environmental reporting), academia (teaching and researching sustainability), and the nongovernmental sector (human rights and environmental NGOs and international certification agencies).


Check SSC to see if the course is currently offered and if you meet pre-requisites etc.



Read a copy of the course syllabus to see reading lists, assignments, grading, and more.



Peter Dauvergne 

"Students will gain a better understanding of the politics causing global environmental change including problems such as climate change."