The Politics of Global Environmental Change - POLI8681

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 7 20 (10) Frank Grundig checkmark-circle


What determines pro-environmental outcomes and what are the obstacles to achieving such outcomes? This module looks at the politics of global environmental change at the international, national and individual level. Whether it is global environmental governance, national environmental policy making, or individual attitudes and behaviour, we need to understand what motivates actors and how a combination of motivations and structure translate into environmental outcomes in various contexts and societies.

This module provides you with the tools to explain the politics of global environmental change and environmental outcomes at the international, national and individual level. It equips you to develop political strategies to improve environmental outcomes. We do this by considering for example the design of international environmental institutions, the role of leadership, mobilisation, and climate communication. The module also equips you to provide political advice based on the latest available (political) science related to global environmental issues. We consider among other issues global environmental governance, international leadership, the role of civil society and lobbies in policy making, public support for environmental policy making, individual environmental attitudes and behaviour, and environmental conflicts.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 22
Private study: 178
Total: 200:


Compulsory to the following courses:
• MSc Environmental Leadership

Optional to the following courses:
• MA International Relations,
• MA Peace and Conflict Studies,
• MA International Conflict Analysis,
• MSc Political Psychology
• MA International Relations/International Law
• MA Security and Terrorism

Method of assessment

• Position paper (1500 words) 20%
• Essay (3,000 words) 80%

Reassessment methods
• 100% coursework

Indicative reading

The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages (

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module you will be able to:

1. Identify, summarise and critically assess some of the most important approaches and frameworks employed in the study of politics of global environmental change and understand their implications for policy making.
2. Develop a comprehensive understanding of empirical findings related to the politics of global environmental change and their relevance for policy and practice.
3. Understand the different mechanisms of political interest creation, articulation, and implementation at different 'levels of analysis' (individual, state, global) and understand the relationship and interplay between different 'levels of analysis' for policy and practice.
4. Appreciate the interdisciplinary nature of the study of global environmental change including the political, psychological, and economic dimensions as well as basic scientific concepts related to environmental issues.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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