POL1003 - The politics of the Environment, Energy and Resource Management


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment and Written examination
Grade: Letters

Evaluation form Weighting Duration Examination aids Grade deviation
Assignment 40/100
Written examination 60/100 3 hours

Course content

Through lectures, readings, and project-paper it is shed light on 1) key environmental discourses, 2) Norwegian climate and energy policies, 3) Norwegian public environmental administration, 4) the tragedy of the commons and resource-management, 5) international environmental regimes and conditions for collective action, 6) international politics of climate change and the role of science, and 7) European energy policies and the international politics of energy.

Learning outcome

Learning Objectives:
Knowledge – the student shall:
- have knowledge of the political processes and policy formulation at the interface between national environmental, energy and resource administration as well as within the international context. In more specific terms, the list below describes what the students should be able to at the end of the term. The list provides several but not all central knowledge objectives in the course. These knowledge objectives are tied to skill objectives listed further below.
1. Identify the main features of the main environmental discourses taught in the course
2. Describe realist, liberalist and constructivist explanations of international processes
3. Identify the main challenges with reaching international environmental agreements with a particular focus on the specific challenges for reaching an international agreement on climate change
4. Identify an international environmental regime
5. Explain and distinguish the output, outcome and impact of an international environmental regime
6. Identify the main consequences of climate change with a focus on social implications such as food production, and possible consequences such as famine, migration, and conflict, and identify the main challenges to climate change adaptation
7. Explain the main facets of energy security
8. Broadly formulate the resource curse hypothesis
9. Describe the renewable energy situation in the world today

Skills - the student shall demonstrate the ability to:
- apply the theories and models which are central to environmental, energy politics and resource administration.
- be independent (alone and in teams) in the preparation of a paper which fulfills the criteria for scientific writing in particular. In more specific terms, this means that at the end of the term, the students should be able to (the list provides several but not all central skill objectives in the course):
1. Describe how we analyze and recognize a discourse; and discuss what main environmental discourse a text belongs to, be it an academic text or the environmental strategy statement of an organization, governmental agency or company
2. Compare realist, liberalist and constructivist explanations of international processes. The students should also be able to argue which of these explanations fare best in a specific case and why
3. Use an interest based model to discuss which environmental problems are more likely and which environmental problems are less likely to have an international agreement
4. Discuss the different aspects of regime effectiveness (output, outcome and impact) and preconditions for effectiveness for a specific international environmental regime
5. Discuss the main challenges of social adaptation to climate change.
6. Discuss if climate change will affect food production and famine, migration, and conflict
7. Discuss the different views of energy security with a focus on the Global oil situation; and Europe and gas
8. Critically discuss the argument that countries endowed with petroleum resources have negative socioeconomic consequences which (i) prevent institutional/democratic development, (ii) reduce economic development and (iii) cause civil war
9. Discuss and compare how vested interests, energy markets and -infrastructure may affect the development of renewable energy in selected countries

Learning methods and activities

Teaching methods and activities: On average 2 hours of lectures per week, but concentrated at the first half of the term, and on average 2 hours a week seminar/supervision of project-work concentrated at the second half of the term. Seminar with compulsory attendance will be held no later than the first week of February. Students that fail to attend this, cannot count on being allowed to take the exam.

A project paper to be submitted as a collaborative effort among up till 4 students. Format of project-paper: Main text ca. 8000 words.

Form of assessment: 3 hours written individual exam and team-based project-paper. Each evaluation form is evaluated separately and given separate grades. Thereafter the final grade is derived by weighing the project paper 40% and the written exam 60%. If you fail or want to re-take the exam, you can either re-take one or both evaluation forms. Exam and project paper may be written in English or in Norwegian.

Compulsory assignments

  • Participation on relevant seminars/exercises

Specific conditions

Exam registration requires that class registration is approved in the same semester. Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Required previous knowledge


Course materials

To be decided at the start of the course.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SVPOL112 7.5



Examination arrangement: Assignment and Written examination

Term Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Room *
Autumn Assignment 40/100


Autumn Written examination 60/100 2016-12-13 09:00 D14
Spring Assignment 40/100


Spring Written examination 60/100 2017-05-19 09:00 Datasal 10349
* The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date.
If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.