Environment, Governance and Development

Key information

Module not running
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Development Studies

Module overview

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the major debates surrounding environment and development, and to provide a broader understanding of the North-South dimensions of environmental governance. It will be an optional module on the MSc in Environment, Politics and Development; therefore it is carefully designed to intersect with, but not duplicate the core module in Environment, Politics and Development (the team taught core module). In this module students will be engaged in the debates about governing the environment at various scales, and how they interlink with dynamics of development. The environment is an ideal arena to examine this because of the transboundary nature of environmental change, which necessarily implies policies that link the local and the global through a series of networks ranging from states to NGOs to international organisations. The core conceptual underpinning for the module is political ecology. The module examines the major approaches to the study of the environment and how they inter-relate with forms of governance from the global scale to regions, states communities and the individual. The module will draw on a range of case studies to illuminate the conceptual debates eg how to govern fisheries and common grazing lands, the role of NGOs, the promotion of the green economy for development and the controversies over population.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

This module will introduce students to the major debates around governing the environment. It will offer a critical analysis of the different scales we use to understand the relationships between environmental governance and development. At the end of the module students should:

  • have developed a thorough understanding major debates in environmental governance and development
  • be able to critically interrogate those debates
  • have a solid knowledge of a series of empirical cases in the global South


Teaching takes place through a weekly 2 hour seminar.

Scope and syllabus

1. Understanding global environmental governance
2. Science, Knowledge and Epistemic Communities
3. International Environmental Agreements
4. Governing the Commons
5. The politics of scale – regional environmental governance
6. Community based natural resource governance
7. Self Governance, environmentality
8. Neoliberal Governance of Environments
9. Population, consumption and environment
10. Conclusions – political ecology and environmental governance

Method of assessment

100% coursework. Each student will be expected to submit one essay of worth 60% and a policy brief 40% of the overall grade.  Resubmission of coursework regulations apply.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules