Environmental Governance


This module examines the ways in which uses of the natural environment are regulated, from policy and law to market-based approaches, through the lens of governance.

Based around this concept the module will consider how relationships between societies and the natural resources and environments on which they depend are currently organised (through policies, law/regulation, discourses of sustainability and ecological modernisation etc.), and what alternatives might be considered.

Themes to be explored include:

  • Theories of environmental governance
  • Environmental policy – local, regional, national, global case studies
  • Environment and capitalism
  • The interrelations between governance and sustainable development
  • Trading the environment; key concepts in environmental law
  • International environmental politics
  • Seminars and key texts in environmental governance


Lectures, research-led case studies and group presentations.

  • 20 hours lectures
  • 10 hours workshops
  • 2 hours seminars


  • 1x 2500 word essay (33%)
  • 1x2hr exam (students to answer 2 essay style exam questions; 67%)

Key skills

  • Individual research (data analysis, synthesis)
  • Presentational techniques
  • Critical thinking
  • Group work activities, debate and discussion of complex issues