Summer 2021 - IS 373 E100

Global Environmental Politics (4)

Class Number: 4765

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 5:30 PM – 9:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 17, 2021
    5:30 PM – 5:30 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



Examines international efforts to respond to global environmental challenges, such as climate change, deforestation, and the degradation of the oceans. Investigates obstacles to effective action and possible ways forward. Explores the role of a range of key actors, including states, intergovernmental organizations, multinational companies, NGOs, and social movements.


How have global processes like industrialization, urbanization, and the agricultural revolution affected local environments? In what ways do energy regimes shape inter- and intra-national politics? IS 373 will explore these questions and more through a detailed, historical examination of the interrelated dynamics of climate, agriculture, energy, and cities. Deploying a range of interdisciplinary methods, we will set our sites on the elusive problem of scale, mining the ways in which local and individual actions have long played out in a global context while global regimes and global actors leave their mark on local environments.

Through readings, writing, research, and discussion, we will examine the connection of global and local environments. Case studies will include historical responses to climate change in Europe and North America, the emergence of global environmental bodies, petropolitics, and the industrialization of food. By the end of the course, students will have an understanding of the dynamic and complex place of the environment in world politics both local and global.


Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Learn to situate local experience, perception, and causes of environmental change within a global context. In other words, be able to identify the global forces at play in local concerns, but also the role that local action has in constituting global environmental systems.
  • Learn how global processes like industrialization, urbanization, and the green revolution have affected local environments.
  • Hone their humanities writing skills through the development of an argument and the use of evidence with proper citations.
  • Improve reading and critical thinking skills while engaging with classmates via online discussions and assignment activities.


  • Course Essay 30%
  • Issue Report 20%
  • Weekly Module Quizzes 12%
  • Weekly Reading Reactions 10%
  • Participation 8%
  • Final Exam 20%


Students will be required to submit their written assignments to in order to receive credit for the assignments and for the course.

The School for International Studies strictly enforces the University's policies regarding plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty. Information about these policies can be found at:



Chasek, Pamela S., David Leonard Downie, and Janet Welsh Brown, eds. Global Environmental Politics. Eighth edition. Routledge 2021.

ISBN: 9780367227623

All other readings will be provided as links or pdfs posted on the course's Canvas site.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.


Teaching at SFU in summer 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods, but we will continue to have in-person experiential activities for a selection of courses.  Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112).