Environmental Governance


Course Environmental Governance
Instructor Prof. Dr. Michael Pregernig and Team (SS14)
Prerequisites Introduction to Earth and Environmental Sciences, Introduction to Governance
Corresponding Module Humans and the Environment, Elective
Public welfare and the environment were long believed to be the responsibility of governments before anything else. Nowadays, the traditional hierarchical coordination by the nation-state is in any cases being replaced or complemented by network-like coordination mechanisms and market-oriented approaches often incorporating several societal levels. Blurring functional, structural and territorial boundaries are seen as the main reason for the shift from hierarchical steering by government to regulation by governance arrangements involving private and public actors at the same time. ‘Environmental governance’, thus, refers to the interrelations between market economy, government and civil society as crucial elements of sustainable development. In this module students learn to:

  • identify and interpret different meanings and concepts of environmental governance;
  • understand the changing roles of governments, corporate actors and civil society in the governance of human-environment interactions;
  • describe and understand similarities and differences of governance approaches in different policy fields;
  • differentiate basic concepts of political science and assess their usefulness for policy analysis in the broader field of environmental governance;
  • critically evaluate political theories, concepts, perspectives and approaches of policy studies;
  • conduct basic environmental policy analyses on selected case studies;
  • apply literature and internet research capabilities and demonstrate presentation skills.

The course will be based on two different “learning environments:” (i) interactive plenary lectures and (ii) group work in seminar units, during which groups will work independently.

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