POL1003 - Environmental Politics 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 E
Home examination 60/100 3 hours

Course content

Through lectures, readings, and project-paper the course sheds light on 1) A selection of key environmental problem; 2) Common ways of explaining the occurence of environmental problems and their solutions; 3) Common environmental discourses; 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.

Learning outcome

Knowledge - the student shall:
- have knowledge of the most common explanations for the occurrence of environmental problems, their suggested solutions and their associated problems. The students should also be familiar with the most common thought-sets and discourses for environmental problems and the political dynamics surrounding them. 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. Describe some of the most common environmental problems in the world of today
2. Identify and describe the most common generic explanations for environmental problems
3. Identify the main features of the main environmental discourses taught in the course.
4. Describe realist, liberalist and constructivist explanations of international processes.
5. Identify the main challenges with reaching international environmental agreements
6. Identify an international environmental regime.
7. Explain and distinguish the output, outcome and impact of an international environmental regime.
8. Identify the main societal consequences of climate change.
9. How environmental issues reflect conflicts of interest between different groups (different individuals, aims, ideologies, areas, niches, generations, classes, states etc.) and therefore may be understood as political issues.
10. How the consequences of environmental problems, our conceptualization of their causes, and our solutions to them are socially stratified and therefore also political issues.

Skills - the student shall demonstrate the ability to:
- apply the theories and models which are central to understanding environmental problems, resource administration, and the suggested solutions to environmental problems
- be independent (alone and in teams) in the preparation of a paper which fulfills the criteria for scientific writing in general. 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. Use a central model to explain the occurrence of environmental problem.
2. 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 etc..
3. To critically assess proposed and realized developmental policies with an environmental component in the Global South.
4. 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 of an environmental problem and why.
5. 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.
6. Discuss the different aspects of regime effectiveness (output, outcome and impact) and preconditions for effectiveness for a specific international environmental regime.
7. Discuss the main challenges of social adaptation to climate change.
8. Discuss the two-way relationship between modern food production chains and environmental change.
9. Be better able to think critically and to participate as a member of a group.

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.

Compulsory assignments

  • Oral presentation of draft of project paper
  • Participation on relevant seminars/exercises

Further on evaluation

Form of assessment: 3 hours written individual exam and team-based project-paper. The project paper is to be submitted as a collaborative effort among up till 4 students. Format of project-paper: Main text ca. 8000 words.

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, but if you want to re-take both evaluation forms or only the project paper, the whole group has to be willing to participate. The exam and the project paper may be written in English or in Norwegian.

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
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Foundation courses, level I


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2021

No.of lecture hours: 2
Lab hours: 2
No.of specialization hours: 8

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Industrial Ecology
  • Social Sciences
  • Political Science
  • Technological subjects
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Sociology and Political Science



Examination arrangement: Assignment and Written examination

Term Status code Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Digital exam Room *
Autumn ORD Assignment 40/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Assignment 40/100

Release 2021-04-26

Submission 2021-05-07

Release 09:00

Submission 15:00

Room Building Number of candidates
Autumn ORD Written examination 60/100 E 2020-11-30 09:00 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Home examination (1) 60/100

Release 2021-06-09

Submission 2021-06-09

Release 09:00

Submission 12:00

Room Building Number of candidates
  • * 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.
  • 1) Merk at eksamensform er endret som et smittevernstiltak i den pågående koronasituasjonen. Please note that the exam form has changed as a preventive measure in the ongoing corona situation.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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