POL S 403 A: Advanced Seminar In International Relations

Climate Politics and Governance

Meeting Time: 
MW 12:30pm - 2:20pm
SMI 115
Aseem Prakash

Syllabus Description:


Climate Politics and Governance

POLS 403 A

Instructor: Aseem Prakash



Course Description:

Climate change is perhaps the defining challenge of our time. It affects critically every aspect of our life. It is therefore not surprising that climate governance is complex and contested. There are several ways climate policies can support economic growth and create new opportunities. But climate policies can also create winners and losers and create social conflict. This undergraduate course will examine important theoretical and empirical issues in climate governance such as:  

- Tools for climate change mitigation,

- Adapting to climate change,

- Renewable energy,

- Cities and climate governance,

- Climate change and migration,

- Women and climate change,

- Climate change and conflict,

- Jobs versus environment

- Trade and environment; carbon accounting of trade

- Business response to climate change: leaders and laggards

- Cities and climate governance,

- Migration, domestic and international

- Business response to climate change

- Extreme weather events and climate politics


 Course Expectations

This course requires active student participation. You are expected to energetically and thoughtfully contribute to class discussions in the following ways.

Student Presentations

For every session, students will present and critique the assigned articles. The discussant-presenter should prepare a two-page (single-spaced) “Article Memo” which summarizes the article, examines its strengths and weaknesses, and identifies questions it raises for future research. Please email this memo to the class by Sunday noon for the Monday class, and by Tuesday noon for the Wednesday class. The discussant-presenter should budget about 10-15 minutes for the in-class oral presentation.  

Class Participation

Needless to say, I expect seminar participants to review all the assigned readings prior to the class.  Based on these readings, for any 6 sessions (the course has three parts; 2 memos from every part of this course), please will email me two questions or issues you want to discuss in the class (students assigned a specific article will not do so; they will email their “Article Memo” only). Instead of listing your questions, please briefly explain how these questions contribute to our understanding of the article(s) under discussion. Your “Key Questions Memo” should be about one page (single-spaced) and reach me by Sunday noon for the Monday class, and by Tuesday noon for the Wednesday class

Research Paper

A five-page (single-spaced; excluding references and tables) research paper is due December 6. Identify an NGO and explore any two of its salient dimensions such as organizational structure, advocacy or service delivery strategies, fund-raising, etc. Make sure to relate this to the relevant readings in the course. Alternatively, identify two NGOs and compare them on the above dimensions. One page paper outline is due November 8.


Article Memos:                 30 points

Key Questions Memos:     30 points

Class Participation:          20 points

Research Paper:               20 points





Additional Details:

W course.

Catalog Description: 
Examination of contemporary developments in the field of international relations. Content varies according to the nature of developments and research interests of the instructor.
Department Requirements: 
International Relations Field
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Writing (W)
Last updated: 
November 14, 2017 - 9:26pm