Green political theory is an increasingly urgent subject matter for political reflection. This semester we will examine how key questions about politics and the environment are being considered, and how political thinkers, researchers, and citizens that care about our common world are framing responses to these problems.
The course begins by assessing our current ecological situation, examining problems such as overpopulation, rising water and food scarcity, climate change, and resource depletion. We then turn to the parameters of contemporary ethical debates over the environment, including animal rights, eco-feminism, and environmental ethics. The last portion of the course examines the political questions and problems raised by the need to achieve sustainability in a “full world.”
We will examine topics such as food politics, consumerism, ecological economics and political economy, glocalism, and de-growth.
By the end of term, students will have developed skills for researching, thinking, and writing critically about political ideas and issues, especially in environmental discourse. They will also have gained a general understanding of the current environmental situation, along with related policy debates and theories. Finally, they will have seriously considered the various alternatives for how to forge a sustainable relationship to the global ecosystem, and how political theory can help us think through the political implications of these alternatives.