In ERST 302, we will look at several policy areas and topics in environmental politics. We will take a comparative perspective, with an emphasis on New Zealand, Australia, and the US. We will strive for a balance between standing on the shoulders of giants by reading some classics, and teetering on the cutting-edge of new literature.
The course is organised around a series of 4 propositions. We will consider each one in turn, examine evidence supporting and refuting it, and discuss it. Some we might reject, others we might affirm.
We will start by looking at NZ’s governance style from a comparative perspective, and query how it relates to the environment. Next we will examine the nature of politics, and its role in environmental policy. We will work together to review and get a taste for a large body of literature on policy formation, development, implementation, and change.
Next we will tackle a topic not often considered by those interested in environmental politics – macroeconomic policy. The author, a Mexican economist prominent within the International Union for Conservation of Nature, posits that monetary and fiscal policies are just as important for sustainability as for the GDP.
Finally, we will consider the proposition that what we have covered so far in the class is relevant to, and helps us understand current questions in NZ environmental policy. The research paper will require students to choose one environmental policy issue in NZ; you will then discuss the political development and implementation patterns, and the how, why, and who questions. This research paper will describe and posit reasons for how and why thing have unfolded as they did, with reference to the propositions, theories, and public policy models covered in the semester.