POLIS 2122 - Global Environmental Politics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

Whether it is water security, the global food crisis, climate change, environmental refugees, nuclear energy, human survival or the rights of non-humans, environmental or green politics has established itself as one of the most exciting sites of political contestation around the globe today. This subject is divided into three parts. Part One establishes the theoretical underpinnings, including addressing traditional political theory and the environment, from conservatism to liberalism and neo-liberalism on the right, to Marxist and anarchist responses on the left. Part Two concentrates on environmental politics in Australia, reviewing specific developments over the past thirty years. Part Three moves to the international and transnational realms. Case studies are taken from numerous countries and cultures where people are pursuing green political goals through a myriad of political processes. These range from the informal dynamics of networks, groups and social movements through to the more institutionalised responses of organisations, corporations, mass media, legal systems, political parties, governments and administrative systems. Cases are selected from across the globe: from the more affluent worlds of Europe and North America; to the majority worlds of Africa, South America and Asia.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 2122
    Course Global Environmental Politics
    Coordinating Unit Politics and International Relations
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study
    Incompatible POLI 2122
    Assessment Tutorial participation 10%, Tutorial presentation 15%, Course test 25%, Major essay 50%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Timothy Doyle

    Phone: 08 8313 4489 Email: timothy.doyle@adelaide.edu.au

    Campus: North Terrace - Office: Napier Building, Room 509

    Communication: Arrange appointments via email (weekdays only)
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:
    1 have gained an understanding of the range of perspectives on environmental issues and how environmental issues may be understood as political issues;
    2 be able to identify and explain the political dimensions of environmental issues, while understanding the particular historical, cultural and social contexts in which they arise;
    3 be able to apply theoretical tools in the analysis of environmental problems and controversies;
    4 be able to identify and formulate effective arguments; and
    5 have increased confidence in their ability to communicate, to think critically, and to participate as a member of a group.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2, 3
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1, 2, 3
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    2, 3
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    2, 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The compulsory text required for this course is Doyle, T., McEachern. D., and MacGregor  (2015), Environment and Politics, fourth edition, Routledge: London and New York. This was written specifically for such a group of students. It has recently been massively revised to focus on the global dimension of environmental politics and international relations.
    Recommended Resources
    Obviously, there are a wide array of journals and books which deal with global environmental politics such as Environmental Politics, Taylor and Francis, London. Quality daily newspapers are also an interesting source of ideas and empirical information. 

    For background reading informing my lectures, apart from the required text listed above, I will also be drawing upon to the following works:

    - Additional global and/or transnational material will be selected from Doherty, B. and Doyle T. (eds) (2008) Beyond Borders: Environmental Movements and Transnational Politics, Routledge, New York and London.

    - For third world environmentalism, selections will be taken from Doyle, T.J. (2005) Environmental Movements in Majority and Minority Worlds: A Global Perspective, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New York and London.

    - Doyle, T. and Risley, M. (eds) (2008) Crucible for Survival: Environmental Security in the Indian Ocean Region, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New York and London.

    - The Australian material will be largely informed by Doyle, T. and Kellow, A. (1995) Environmental Politics and Policy-Making in Australia, Macmillan: Melbourne, and Doyle, T. (2001) Green Power: the Environmental Movement in Australia.
    Online Learning
    Additional course-related material will be available through MyUni.

    The following documents will be available via MyUni:
    Lecture Content, Course Outline, Explanation of Assessment Tasks.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The division of the course into three parts seeks to provide a balance of theoretical and empirical material. This material will be predominantly delivered through lecture-style presentations, as it is information intensive, reflecting the established research interests of the co-ordinator. Smaller group teaching will take place in the tutorials. Like all courses in the Politics Discipline, the teacher promotes the development of critical and analytic skills, and is built upon the need for students to communicate their ideas in a written essay, and through oral expression in these smaller tutorial groups. Apart from student presentations, these group sessions will be used to address teaching and learning problems/issues, which will potentially arise during the course; as well as providing an opportunity to relate the lecture material with environmental issues as they emerge in the media.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    1 x 2-hour lecture (or equivalent) per week 24 hours per semester
    1 x 1-hour tutorial (or equivalent) per week 12 hours per semester
    4 hours reading per week 48 hours per semester
    2 hours research per week 24 hours per semester
    2 hours assignment preparation per week 24 hours per semester
    2 hours class preparation per week 24 hours per semester
    156 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week 1 Welcome, Logistics and Outline of Course
    Week 2 An Introduction to Environmental Politics
    Week 3 Traditional Political Theory and the Environment
    Week 4 First Period of Environmental Politics in Australia
    Week 5 Second and Third Periods of Environmental Politics in Australia
    Week 6 Majority World Environmentalism
    Week 7 The Global Politics of Climate Change
    Week 8 The Social Movement and Environmental Politics
    Week 9 Green Non-Governmental Organisations and the Green Public Space
    Week 10 Greening the Mainstream
    Week 11 Business and the Environment and Challenging Paradigms
    Week 12 Course Test
    Specific Course Requirements
    Not applicable.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Tutorials will include individual student presentations to the group, small-group activities and semi-structured discussions designed to provide students with a fulfilling 'small group discovery experience'. Small group seminars will be organised around the critical analysis of particular case studies, which include controversies over climate change, food production, population growth, green party politics, and environmental movements.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    Tutorial Participation Formative and Summative 10% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Tutorial Presentation Formative and Summative 15% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Course Test Summative 25% 1, 2
    Major Essay Formative and Summative 50% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Assessment Related Requirements
    No special requirements are to be met prior to the commencement of the course.
    However, prior to lectures each week, readings, largely from the core text, will be set.
    Assessment Detail
    Tutorial Participation (10%): students interacting in class activities and sharing of materials and information.

    Tutorial Presentation (15%): Students will be expected to complete an oral presentation within a tutorial setting. The major paper will also be the basis of this presentation. The presentation will include handing up a powerpoint or a one page summary of the substance of the argument in (annotated) bullet points, including references.

    Course Test (25%): This short, one-hour test will allow students to demonstrate their grasp of basic concepts conveyed in the course. It will include multiple choice questions and/or short answers.

    Research Essay (50%): Students will required to write a research essay on specific environmental movements from across the world exploring different ways cultures have interpreted the symbol of environmentalism/s, from political, scientific, economic, philosophical, psychological and religious viewpoints. Word-count: 2500 words.

    The research essay must be submitted through Turnitin (link available on MyUni).

    The official procedure to apply for extensions is: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/student/exams/mod_arrange.html

    Students must apply for extensions through the official procedure unless:

    1. The student is only requesting a short extension of two days or less.
    2. The assessment is worth 20% or less.
    3. The student is registered with the Disability Office and has a Disability Access Plan.

    Late essays without an extension will be penalised at the rate of 2% per day.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.