Document Type

Undergraduate Syllabus


Spring 2008



Course Number

DIPL 3201AA and AB

Course Description

This course introduces the global environmental problematique and the ways in which it plays out in a variety of political and policy arenas. The course provides an introduction to the concepts and the literature of the sustainability debate. Moreover, through case studies, the course examines responses to global environmental problems and challenges to prevailing structures and practices in the context of the international system. First, the course explores in depth the powerful interaction between environmental protection and economic development. Second, the course distinguishes between sustainability and the widely-varying definitions of the term "development" and examines the approaches that promise to reconcile these divergent views. Third, the class deconstructs the conceptual frameworks for analyzing north-south relations on issues such as ozone layer depletion and climate change, toxic dumping, deforestation, transboundary pollution, the implications of energy technology choices, the impact of air pollution on human health and welfare, loss of biological diversity and ecosystem services, and energy conservation. The class approach to these matters will focus on the following four general aspects of the problem: environmental governance; civil society and transnational actors; critical debates on justice, development, and economic issues; and environmental security.