SLIGHTLY UPDATED syllabus 2020.pdfSLIGHTLY UPDATED syllabus 2020.pdf

Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


Students who successfully complete this course should:

  1. Be familiar with the main institutions of environmental governance
  2. Have a sense of environmentalism as something historical and context-dependent
  3. Understand given key terms in studying political life
  4. Be familiar with and somewhat practiced in using vocabularies for discussing complex and ‘hybrid’ problems and linking politics to sustainability issues
  5. Demonstrate improved reading and writing skills with regards to environmental issues.

Credits: 5

Schedule: 10.09.2020 - 15.10.2020

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Eeva Berglund

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Eeva Berglund

Contact information for the course (valid 19.08.2020-21.12.2112):

Both the teacher and the teaching assistant, Victoria Haubenwaller, can be reached in person just before and after online sessions or on email. Please allow at least 36 hours for a response.

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Through a selection of texts written for academic and policy audiences, the course traces the emergence of environmental discourses as issues of public and political concern, and explores differences in the ways that socio-environmental concerns can be framed. It gives tools for examining how the roles and responsibilities of the actors involved become defined and redefined. Key topics will be:

    1. Approaching sustainability as a social and political issue rather than a technical problem
    2. Sociotechnical transitions and types of knowledge and expertise
    3. Regulation and policy, including informal initiatives towards sustainability

  • Applies in this implementation:

    A pdf-file of the syllabus, including readings, is now available under 'syllabus' and 'materials'.

    In addition to online interaction and individual work, students will be expected to undertake short walks in preparation for discussion and group work. This slight departure from the advertised contents is particularly important in the exceptional current circumstances.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Active participation in teaching sessions, weekly reaction papers, essay drawing on the course literature (50%).

    Grading scale 0 - 5 with successful students demonstrating the ability to

    1. Thoughtfully identify and enquire into the politics around sustainability, based on academic and other resources
    2. Critically analyse and evaluate relevant policies and political interventions as well academic debates concerning these
    3. Clearly articulate and neatly present (to academic standards) what has been learned
    4. Attendance and participation in at least 80% of teaching sessions and completion of all teaching assignments and exercises within deadlines given.


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    5 ECTS = 135 hours.

    18h teaching hours

    About 40h preparing course assignments (writing) and about 77h reading, of which total hours each student is expected to use 10-20% for "time to think".



Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    White, Damian F.; A.P. Rudy & B. J. Gareau: Environments, Natures and Social Theory, 2016. Sachs, Wolfgang: Planet dialectics - explorations in environment and development, 2001. Weekly readings to be specified and provided.

SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    1 No Poverty

    2 Zero Hunger

    3 Good Health and Well-being

    4 Quality Education

    5 Gender Equality

    6 Clean Water and Sanitation

    7 Affordable and Clean Energy

    9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

    10 Reduced Inequality

    11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

    12 Responsible Production and Consumption

    13 Climate Action

    14 Life Below Water

    15 Life on Land

    16 Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

    17 Partnerships for the Goals