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POL8066 : Environmental Global Governance

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Hartmut Behr
  • Co-Module Leader: Professor Anthony Zito
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The module aims at familiarising postgraduate students with the main challenges posed for global governance by environmental degradation and global warming. The module leaders Profs Behr and Zito have developed a syllabus with 10 substantive topics ranging from empirical to conceptual issues and 1 practical writing session to share with students the best practices of writing the assignment.

The module is in line with Newcastle University’s major research and teaching themes and targets at both awareness creation of one of the big challenges of humankind in the 21st century and practical-political thinking to navigate related challenges, namely the local and global environment and climate.

The module will make use of visual and textual material to achieve its aims.

Outline Of Syllabus

(1)       Environmental Testimony: Visualising Harm
(2)       Consequences and Responsible Choices: The Impact of Technologies
(3)       Environmental Ethics: Environment as a Common Good
(4)       New Forms of Responsibility I: Resilience and Reversibility
(5)       New Forms of Responsibility II: The Precautionary Principle
(6)       Practical Writing Seminar
(7)       Elements of Policy and Governance
(8)       Case Study on Climate Change Policies
(9)       Case Study on Biodiversity
(10)       Governance and the Global
(11)       Governance and Local in a Global Context

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1178:00178:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The aforementioned learning outcomes are best studied and practiced through small-group discussions, based on and driven by texts and visual materials. The syllabus outlines the study themes and topics to be introduced. They provide a well-balanced mixture of ethical problems and governance tools to stipulate imaginative and novel thinking about one of the most challenging problems of humanity in the 21st century.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A994000 word research paper in form of an elaborated policy paper/briefing
Research proposal2M11 – 1 ½ pages long outline as formative assessment with feedback of the intended policy brief/policy paper with 2-4 references. The proposal will demonstrate the structure and focus of the paper to be written.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment of 4000 word research paper in the form of a policy paper/briefing that should combine both practical (i.e., policy-making) with conceptual and ethical considerations. We aim at an ethically reflective policy analysis that focuses on a concrete policy question/challenge that students select and develop for themselves from a wide range of contemporary environmental challenges from the global to the local level. In order to practice this exercise, we will explore the questions of format content and style in the writing seminar (syllabus theme 6) and two concrete case study seminars (syllabus theme 8 and 9). The students are thus left with choices
•       with regards to the ethical and conceptual position they apply and pursue as well as
•       with the geographical, historical, and cultural focus of the case study, and with regards to the human as well as non-human actors involved, and
•       with the policy recommendations the students develop.

This triangle describes the rationale of the assessment. The policy focus of the paper will be closely informed by student choices in ethical and analytical perspectives and choices in the research focus.

Reading Lists