Module Identifier IP31620  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Charlotte J Burns  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Lecture   18 Hours 18 x 1 hour lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   5 Hours 5 x 1 hour seminars  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours  70%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,000 word essay  30%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Identify the principal causes for the environmental crisis.
2. Identify and evaluate the traditional paradigm, sustainable development and ecological modernisation.   
3. Discuss the historical origins and development of the EU's environmental policy and be able to explain and evaluate its evolution and its current form by reference to core theoretical concepts.
4. Evaluate and explain the success or failure of key policy paradigms within the EU.   
5. Define the precautionary principle and explain why its implementation is problematic.
6. Describe and analyse the pattern of relations between key actors, such as the member states, accession states, the institutions, political parties and interest groups in the field of environmental policy.
7. Identify and explain the problems that enlargement raises for the EU's environmental policy.   
8. Define the concept of europeanisation and evaluate its utility as an explanatory tool for describing processes of policy-making in EU environmental policy.
9. Explain the reasons for the EU's success and failures in international environmental diplomacy.   
10. Demonstrate, through written work and in seminars, an ability to apply the theoretical perspectives to contemporary policy-making problems within EU environmental policy.

Brief description

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of core concepts and debates in environmental politics and policy by focusing specifically upon the development and implementation of EU environmental policy. Students will be introduced to the debates about the nature of the relationship between economic growth and environmental degradation and the policy paradigms that have been developed to address environmental problems. Focus upon the EU will offer the opportunity for students to develop further their understanding of the EU's policy-making role and of the relationship between the existing and future member states and the EU institutions, and between EU actors and the international community.


This module adds to the Departmental provision in the area of European Union Politics and Policy. It complements existing provision in this area and allows interested students to gain specialist knowledge of contemporary debates about the nature of the environmental crisis, possible policy solutions to that crisis, the ways in which the European Union has sought to meet the environmental challenge and the problems that it has faced.


Transferable skills

Students will develop, practise and test a range of transferable skills. On a broad level, throughout the module they will enhance their oral and written communication skills, augment their reading and comprehension abilities, improve their analytical and research capabilities, develop time management skills and strengthen their use of IT resources. More specifically in lectures the students will strengthen their listening, note taking and summarising skills; further develop effective presentation and debating abilities in seminars; and enhance their writing proficiency and independent research abilities. The essay and the examination will test the ability to write in an organised, focused and succinct manner under time constraint conditions.

10 ECTS Credits

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Burchell, J & Lightfoot, S (2002) The Greening of the European Union: Examining the EU's Environmental Credentials London, Sheffield Academic Press
Connolly, J & Smith, G (2003) Politics and the Environment - From Theory to Practice London, Routledge
Jordan, A (ed) (2002) Environmental Policy in the European Union London, Earthscan
McCormick, J (2001) Environmental Policy in the European Union Basingstoke, Palgrave


This module is at CQFW Level 6