Politics and Sociology of the Environment - SA803

Sorry, this module is not currently running in 2019-20.







This module is particularly concerned with the forms and outcomes of the political contention and mobilisation around environmental issues, ranging from pressure groups, formal environmental movement organisations and Green parties to local environmental activism and radical environmental protest. It also considers the relationship between democracy and the environment: is democracy good for the environment? Would more deliberative forms of democracy improve matters? The approach is cross-nationally comparative and will also consider issues of global environmental politics.


This module appears in:

Contact hours




Method of assessment

Assessment is by one coursework essay of 5,000 words

Indicative reading

Carter, N (2007) The politics of the Environment 2nd ed, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Connelly, J, Smith, G, Benson, D, Saunders, C (2012) Politics and the Environment: from theory to practice 3rd edition, London: Routledge
Doherty, B and Doyle, T (2013) Environmentalism, Resistance and Solidarity: The Politics of Friends of the Earth, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Doyle, T and MacGregor, S (eds) (2014) Environmental Movements Around the World, San Francisco: Praeger.
Zelko, F (2013) Make It a Green Peace! The Rise of a Countercultural Environmentalism, Oxford: Oxford University Press

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

• Demonstrate knowledge of some of the central problems raised by political scientists’ and sociologists’ in their discussions of environmental issues

• Understand that the environment is not simply a natural object but is socially constructed

• Demonstrate knowledge of the ways in which the environment has come to be seen as a political problem and the forms of organization that have been adopted to address environmental questions, ranging from pressure groups, formal environmental movement organisations, green parties, local environmental activists and radical environmental protesters.

• Take a cross-nationally comparative approach to consider issues of global environmental politics as well as the special problems environmental issues are alleged to pose for the development of public policy

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