Environmental Policy for GEC&P


Course Objective

After completing this subject the student is able to:
- Understand the concepts of governance and policy as they apply to
global environmental change related challenges;
- Distinguish between various instruments and approaches to
environmental policy-making;
- Assess the effectiveness, legitimacy and broader impacts of
environmental policies;
- Perform an analysis of policy interventions and their logics;
- Provide a SWOT analysis of policies;
- Present, both in written and oral form, concrete science-based
recommendations for decision-makers.

Course Content

Action to address environmental problems – also called environmental
governance – nowadays comes from nation states and a plethora of other
actors. In this course, you will learn what environmental policy and
governance is and how some of the actors that provide for it operate.
Specifically, you will learn to understand how environmental governance
and policy is developed, implemented, assessed and contested at multiple
levels, from domestic environmental policies to international treaties
and transnational governance arrangements. You will familiarize yourself
with the various modes of governance, from public to private, and the
different governance instruments, from command and control to
information-sharing and networking. In more detail, the six weeks of the
course are thematically divided to address (a) the emergence and basic
concepts of environmental policy and governance; (b) the role of public
policy interstate actors in environmental policy and governance; (c) the
role of market-based approaches in environmental policy and governance;
(d) the role of networked governance (with a focus on non-state actors).

Teaching Methods


Method of Assessment

The course has three required deliverables/assessments:

- Final research paper; the paper should reconstruct the intervention
theory of an environmental policy and discuss its merits and
short-comings. Reconstructing an intervention theory means tracing and
reformulating the total assumptions underlying a policy, along a
scientific route. A core deliverable is a schematic overview of how the
policy is intended to solve the environmental problem. The overview
should fit on 1 page and spell out the intervention theory in the most
detailed way possible, given time and data-constraints (40%).

- Written exam; open and multiple choice questions (40%).

- Policy-recommendations on selected environmental policy problem
related to global environmental change; the brief should be about 2
pages (1000 words max) and shall summarize the key policy options with
their related risks and opportunities (20%).


We will "Environmental Politics and Policy" by J. McCormack as our text
Additional readings will be made available via Canvas.

Target Audience

Required course for students in the GEC&P specialization of Earth

General Information

Course Code AM_1241
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator prof. dr. P.H. Pattberg
Examiner prof. dr. P.H. Pattberg
Teaching Staff dr. E.E. Massey
prof. dr. P.H. Pattberg

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Study Group, Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: