Department of European Studies & Modern Languages, Unit Catalogue 2009/10
EU50604: The politics of sustainability: environmental security and international relations
|Supplementary Assessment:||Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)|
The unit aims to:
* explore the different dimensions of the politics of sustainability;
* investigate the role of key regional actors (such as the EU and the USA) in promoting sustainability and enhancing environmental security;
* investigate how environmental security issues contribute to changes in international relations in the contemporary period.
Students who have successfully completed this unit will:
* be able to analyse the politics of sustainability in relation to the management of environmental issues and to the development of sustainable social and economic relations;
* understand how environmental security is a major factor in shaping international relations;
* have detailed knowledge about national sustainability programmes and the internationalisation of sustainability politics;
* have detailed knowledge of political actors, their goals, instruments and behaviour in shaping the politics of sustainability.
The key skills the unit will hone and further develop are:
* Advanced research skills in identifying, locating and exploiting a wide range of descriptive, evaluative and theoretical literature.
* Intellectual skills of conceptual, original and independent thinking, critical analysis, synthesis and reasoned argument.
* Skills of assessment and judgement in relation to the soundness of competing arguments and scenarios, including the reporting and assessing of qualitative and quantitative data.
* Generic and transferable skills related to the oral and written presentation of ideas.
* Skills of self-direction, self-evaluation and time management.
Lectures and seminars will cover the following main themes:
* Sustainability: the political dimensions of a contested concept.
* Environment and security: causes and consequences of environmental risk.
* Resource scarcity, resource conflicts and eco-terrorism.
* The geopolitics of energy sourcing.
* The international politics of climate change.
* International environmental regimes and leadership conflicts between the EU, the USA and other key actors.