SP student HB.pdfSP student HB.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: 16.09.2021 - 21.10.2021

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Eeva Berglund, Naoko Nakagawa

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

Instructor: Eeva Berglund, eeva.berglund@aalto.fi

Teaching assistant: Mailis Niiranen, mailis.niiranen@aalto.fi

The best way to contact us is face to face, including on Zoom. If you send an email, give us at least 36 hours to reply.

Office hours will be held upon request on Zoom, just contact Eeva.

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    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

    Week 1 16.9.2021      Sustainability, development and risk

    Week 2 23.9.2021      Hybrid problems, fluid solutions

    Week 3 30.9.2021      Environmental knowledge, government and governance

    Week 4 7.10.2021      Infrastructure walk

    Week 5 14.10.2021    Environment and justice

    Week 6 21.10.2021    A new political landscape

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    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 po

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    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 for whole curriculum period:

    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.

Substitutes for Courses
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


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    80% attendance is required and so is attending the first session.

    Teaching Period:

    2020-2021 Autumn I

    2021-2022 Autumn I

    Course Homepage: https://mycourses.aalto.fi/course/search.php?search=MUO-E8018

    Registration for Courses: Sisu replaces Oodi on 9 August, 2021. Priority order to courses is according to the order of priority decided by the Academic committee for School of Arts, Design and Architecture: https://www.aalto.fi/en/services/registering-to-courses-and-the-order-of-priority-in-aalto-arts

    The order of priority for admitting students:
    Creative Sustainability major students;
    Creative Sustainability minor students;
    Department of Design masters students (taken in in the order of registration);
    Students for whom the course is part of his/her major's or programme's alternative studies and has been scheduled in the student's PSP (HOPS) for the current academic year;
    All other master students.

    Maximum number of students: 30
    Minimum number of students: 15