Governance of Global Sustainability


Course Objective

The main objective of this course is for you to develop an understanding
of the different modes and multidimensional challenges of sustainability
governance and the critical ways in which it is possible to think about
decisions that have impact on the environment. Collectively as a class,
and individually, you will develop knowledge in the politics of the
environment by engaging with core scientific literature and discussing
and tackling real world socio-environmental problems. By the end of the
course, you will have gained an understanding of the complexity of the
political dimension of the environment and the decisions that society
deals with that impact sustainability. You will develop theoretical
knowledge that will give you the ability to think critically and
question mainstream societal decisions, politics and policies about the

By the end of this course you will be able to:
 Understand and describe different critical principles and theories
about multilevel governance of sustainability and the politics and
policies of Sustainable Development
 Apply different theories to think critically about and different
sustainability problems, by analyzing them from diverse and diverging
 Characterize different modes of sustainability governance and identify
their strengths and limitations in relation to different types of
socio-environmental problems
 Formulate your own analysis and suggestions regarding societal
decisions that impact local and global sustainable development

Course Content

Humanity deals with complex socio-environmental problems that impact the
wellbeing of current and future generations. Nature and ecosystems
globally are threatened and under suffering increasing deterioration. It
is important to develop critical knowledge, understanding and
perspectives about socio-environmental problems and potential solutions.
Governance plays a key role in dealing with global sustainability
issues. In this course we will study alternative theories about the
sustainability challenges that will allow you to think of
socio-environmental problems critically and we will learn about the
different modes of governance that play a role in addressing issues of
sustainability and sustainable development. We will deal with the
political dimension of the environment and learn about how different
theoretical perspective challenge the dominant paradigms. We will
discuss and debate key sustainable development and socio-environmental
problems such as the FEW nexus, climate change, water challenges,
environmental conflicts etc.

Teaching Methods

We will mix: frontal lectures, seminars, discussions and group

The structure of the course consists of a mix of lectures and group
discussions, activities and assignments. The group activities in class
will include simulations and team assignments. (Please see information
about Seminar preparation in canvas). Readings will be assigned for
each session and it will be essential to be well prepared in order to
successfully participate and address key questions that we will tackle.

Participation: Due to the complexity of the issues addressed and the
concentrated length of the course I highly recommend attending every
session. Of course, if you will have serious family or health reasons
you can count on my help for making up for your absence and catching up.
The amount of the material that we will go through and the very short
time to prepare between the end of classes and the final exam will not
allow you to be successful in this course if you procrastinate reading
and if you don’t participate.

I will lead group discussions on key questions related to the readings.
To make the most of our time together, I will call on students directly
to address specific question during the group discussion. I will apply
the “Socratic method” and challenge you to defend your opinions. (This
is a method that might seem a little intimidating but is particularly
useful to develop the capacity to debate publicly and defend your
opinions – in line with the learning goals of the course.)

Preparation advice: I can’t stress enough the importance to hit the
ground and start running from day one, actively participate and not fall
behind. A critical aspect is that you make an effort to study the
assigned readings before class. If you don’t you will see pages adding
up quickly and you not be as able to engage productively in discussions
and have less information and tools to understand the lectures. I look
forward to work with you, so please also take advantage of office hours.

Method of Assessment

Assessment is based on exam, presentations and written assignments


For each week, a selection of articles will be made to be studied in

Recommended background knowledge

Interest in sustainability issues and social questions

General Information

Course Code AB_1229
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 300
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator dr. J. Dell'Angelo
Examiner dr. J. Dell'Angelo
Teaching Staff dr. J. Dell'Angelo
dr. K.E. Negacz

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar, Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: