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Environmental Politics: Sustainable Alternatives in Action

Module code: POPP 3404

Module description

This module explores the most urgent challenge facing humanity: the transformation of our economic, political and social systems to ensure long-term sustainability. It focuses on how we understand the politics of such transformations, how environmental problems are managed (or not) through the political system and the ways in which alternative perspectives are articulated, advocated and accommodated. It begins by critically examining the distinctive characteristics of environmental policy problems before considering how transitions to a sustainable society are contested by policy makers, activists and the public. In particular it addresses how we build political coalitions for change as part of a transition to a sustainable society: how different actors view issues of sustainability, climate justice and the protection of the global commons; why current political solutions fall short; and how alternatives are promoted by local activists and environmental NGOs. By engaging in current debates on contemporary environmental issues such as sustainable transport, air pollution, energy futures and consumption, students will be encouraged to critically reflect on the extent to which these alternatives move the sustainability agenda forward.

Contact hours per student per year

  • Lectures: 44 hours


  • Critical Reflection (40%)
  • Policy Briefing (60%)

Additional Costs: No extra costs other than purchase of books