Course Database

In 2013-2014, our team researched where courses on global environmental governance and global environmental politics are being taught and compared the content of various curricula.  We found a total of 38 courses in 17 countries, plus two online courses taught by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). Included here is a set of general information about objectives, learning outcomes, strategies and assessment. This is followed by a list of all the courses we analyzed. If you wish us to include your course to this list, please e-mail

Sample Course Objectives, Learning Outcomes, Strategies and Assessment

Course Objectives
  • Understand the root causes of global environmental problems· Investigate a set of global environmental problems and how they are being addressed
  • Understand the larger picture of intertwining relationships between natural, political, economic, and social systems that shape
    environmental policy
  • Examine ways in which society addresses environmental challenges by means of ‘global governance’ –international, transnational, and
    global institutions and organizations intended to deal with global environmental issues
  • Examine the way in which governance structures have evolved over time and explore specific organizations and other actors
  • Assess the design and performance of international institutions for environmental governance, and identify options for reform
Learning Outcomes
  • Broad understanding of contemporary discussions and debates related to the theory and practice of global environmental governance as well
    as in-depth, comparative understanding of selected issues [selections vary by instructor]
  • Knowledge of major theories of political science to identify and examine social barriers of global environmental governance
  • Understanding of the design and evolution of the UN environmental architecture
  • Capacity to distinguish different political dimensions (actors, institutions, interlinkages) and their relevance for the success or
    failure of global environmental politics
  • Ability to summarize effectively advanced discussions explaining outcomes in global environmental governance
  • Capacity to critique succinctly, supported by evidence and logic, in oral and written form, a variety of perspectives on global
    environmental governance
  • Ability to devise solutions for environmental governance problems at the local, national and global levels and identify limits of and
    realistic options for reform
Strategies and Tools
  • Present a broad overview of key concerns in global environmental governance and enable students to think critically about ways to address
    global environmental problems
  • Examine specific organisations and other actors active in global environmental governance as well as global private and public
  • Explore the simultaneous production of environmental knowledge and global political order in class exercises and in case studies of
    students’ own choosing
  • Provide critical literacy in policy-analytic techniques, including cost-benefit analysis, risk assessment, impact assessment,
    multi-stakeholder processes, effectiveness assessment, conflict/post-conflict assessment, sustainability indicators, and social marketing
  • Measure and explain performance of international organizations and propose analytically grounded policy interventions
  • Tutorials and workshops taught by internationally acclaimed lecturers
  • Group work through simulations, involving development of papers expressing a state’s position with regard to specific environmental
    problems and policies, role playing, and negotiations
Assessment Measures
  • Position papers and analytical papers
  • Oral presentations
  • Observation of negotiations
  • Simulation evaluation
  • Oral and written debriefs of simulations
  • Oral and written reflections on learning


Global Environmental Governance and Politics Courses Reviewed


University Course Name Department
Australia Australian National University Environmental Governance School of International Political & Strategic Studies
Australia Australian National University International Environmental Policy Fenner School of Environment and Society
Brazil UniCEUB Governança Ambiental (Environmental Governance) Law School
Brazil University of São Paulo
Relações Internacionais e Meio Ambiente – Atores Não Estatais, Governança e Regulação (International Relations and the Environment –
Non-state Actors, Governance and Regulation)
Political Science
Canada University of Waterloo
Global Environmental Governance
Environment Resources Studies & Political Science
Chile Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Políticas Públicas y Gobernanza Ambiental (Public Policy and Environmental Governance)
Urban Studies
China Tongji University Environmental Governance School of Political Science & International Relations
Costa Rica Universidad de Costa Rica
Gobernanza Ambiental Global y Cambio Climático (Global Environmental Governance and Climate Change)
Political Science
Ethiopia Addis Ababa University Environmental Change and Sustainable Development College of Natural Sciences
Germany Free University of Berlin Introduction to Environmental Policy and Politics Caspian Region Environmental and Energy Studies
Hungary Central European University Transnational Environmental Politics Department of International Relations and European Studies
Kenya University of Nairobi Seminars in Environmental Governance Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies
Netherlands VU University Amsterdam
Global Environmental Governance
Political Science
Online UNITAR International Environmental Governance
Gobernanza Ambiental Internacional (International Environmental Governance)
Singapore National University of Singapore
ASEAN Environmental Law, Policy and Governance
Law School
South Africa Rhodes University Global Environmental Problems and Policies Environmental Science
Spain Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona Instituciones y Políticas Medioambientales en el Ámbito Internacional (International Institutions and Environmental Policy)
Ciencias Ambientales (Environmental Sciences)
Sweden Lund University Global Environmental Governance Today – Actors, Institutions, Complexity Political Science
Sweden Lund University Environmental Governance Political Science
UK London School of Economics Global Environmental Governance International Development
US American University
Global Environmental Politics: The Future of Environmentalism
School of International Service
US Boston University Global Environmental Policy and Negotiation International Relations, Geography and Environment
US College of William and Mary Global Environmental Governance Department of Government
US Colorado State University Global Environmental Politics Political Science
US Colorado State University International Environmental Politics Political Science
US Harvard University Global Environmental Governance Public Policy
US Mount Holyoke College
Science and Power in Environmental Governance
Department of Environmental Studies
US Northwestern University International Environmental Politics Political Science
US The New School International Environmental Governance Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy
US University of California Berkeley Global Environmental Governance Political Science
US University of Maryland
International Environmental Governance Seminar
Law School
US University of Massachusetts Amherst International Environmental Politics and Policy Political Science
US University of Massachusetts Boston Global Environmental Governance McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies
US University of New Hampshire International Environmental Politics, Policy and Law Political Science
US University of Vermont International Environmental Governance Political Science
US Williams College
Global Environmental Politics
Center for Environmental Studies
US Yale University
International Environmental Policy and Governance

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies