The Politics of Climate Change

UNSW Sydney

Course Description

  • Course Name

    The Politics of Climate Change

  • Host University

    UNSW Sydney

  • Location

    Sydney, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Atmospheric Science, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Political Science, Sociology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    30 units of credit at Level 1

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Though climate change is typically understood as a scientific or environmental problem, that requires economic or technological solutions, it is perhaps better understood as a social, cultural and political phenomenon which is remaking the ways in which we understand our relationship with the Earth. How we understand climate, weather, nature and the environment are crucial for understanding contemporary global warming and our responses to it. ARTS2242 begins from this proposition and examines the underlying politics of climate change. It is designed to equip students with a conceptual and methodological toolkit for interpreting and making sense of the social aspects of climate change and the often intense political arguments that surround it. The course explores the history of climate science and the more recent emergence of a global consensus on anthropogenic global warming. The course goes onto to consider the persistence of climate change denialism and skepticism in the face of this consensus and the continuing controversy over the adequacy of climate change science. The course also explores recent work on abrupt climate change, climate modeling and the politics of climate change adaptation and mitigation technologies. The course draws on a multi-disciplinary framework for understanding the social, historical and political aspects of climate change, with insights from politics, sociology, and science and technology studies (STS). Students will be introduced to key areas of contemporary scholarly thinking in the environmental humanities ? including political ecology, the sociology of scientific knowledge and contemporary political theory. These issues will be explored through group case study projects offering an opportunity for independent research and analysis together with targeted readings from recent scholarly work.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.


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