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SOEE5472 Module Reading List

Environmental Policy and Governance, 2021/22, Semester 1
Dr James Van Alstine
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue


Unfortunately, there is no one book that addresses all of the issues that are covered in this course. The following texts provide a useful basis, but further reading, particularly of journal articles, is also required. 



Lecture: Introduction and Policy instruments 1: Environmental Regulations

Seminar: Discuss Lemos and Agrawal (2006)

Key readings (Introduction and overview):

Carter, N. (2007 or 2018) The Politics of the Environment, Cambridge University Press. (Chapter 7)  

Jordan, A. (2008) ‘The governance of sustainable development: taking stock and looking forwards’, Environment and planning. C, Government and policy. ISSN: 0263-774x, 26: 17-33.  

Lemos, C. and Agrawal, A. (2006) ‘Environmental Governance’, Annual review of environment and resources. ISSN: 1543-5938, 31: 297-325.  

Key readings (Policy Instruments 1: Environmental Regulations):

Carter, N. (2007 or 2018) The Politics of the Environment, Cambridge University Press. (Chapter 12)

Holling, C., Meffe, G. (1996) Command and Control and the Pathology of Natural Resource Management. Conservation biology. ISSN: 0888-8892. 10: 2. pp. 328-337.

Additional readings:

Potoski, M. and Prakash, A. (2004). 'The Regulatory Dilemma: Cooperation and Conflict in Environmental Governance', Public administration review. ISSN: 0033-3352, 64 (2): 152-163.

Sinclair, D. (1997). Self-regulation versus command and control? Beyond false dichotomies. Law & policy. ISSN: 0265-8240, 19 (4): 529-559.

Gunningham, N. and Holley, C. (2016) Next-Generation Environmental Regulation: Law, Regulation, and Governance, Annual Review Law Soc. Sci. 12: 273-93.



Lecture: Policy instruments 2: Market-based instruments

Seminar: Discuss Jordan (2005)

Key readings:

Jordan, A., Wurzel, R. K. W. and Zito, A. (2005). 'The Rise of ‘New’ Policy Instruments in Comparative Perspective: Has Governance Eclipsed Government?' Political studies. ISSN: 0032-3217; 1467-9248, 53: 477-496.  

Castree, Noel. (2008): "Neoliberalising nature: the logics of deregulation and reregulation." Environment and planning A 40.1 131-152.*

Additional readings:

Castree, N. (2008). Neoliberalising nature: processes, effects, and evaluations. Environment and planning A, 40(1), 153-173.

Robertson, M. M. (2004). The neoliberalization of ecosystem services: wetland mitigation banking and problems in environmental governance. Geoforum, 35(3), 361-373.

Dempsey, J., & Suarez, D. C. (2016). Arrested development? The promises and paradoxes of “selling nature to save it”. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 106(3), 653-671.

Goulder, L. H., and I. W. H. Parry (2008). Instrument Choice in Environmental Policy. RFF Discussion Paper RFF DP 08-07.

Harrington, W., and R. D. Morgenstern (2004). Economic incentives versus command and control: What's the best approach for solving environmental problems? Resources ISSN: 0048-7376, Fall/Winter 13-17. 

Hepburn, C. (2006). Regulation by prices, quantities, or both: A review of instrument choice. Oxford review of economic policy. ISSN: 0266-903X, 22 (2): 226-247.

Stavins, R. N. (2003). Market-Based Environmental Policies: What Can We Learn from U.S. Experience (and Related Research)?, RFF Discussion Paper 03–43, Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C. [Available at:



Lecture: Policy instruments 3: Information-based instruments

Seminar: Discuss: Gunningham, N. and Sinclair, D. (1999) Regulatory Pluralism: Designing Policy Mixes for Environmental Protection. Law & Policy, Vol 21, No 1, pp. 49-76.*

Key readings:

Mol, A. (2009) Environmental Governance through Information, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 30: 114-129.

Stephan, M. (2002). ‘Environmental information disclosure programs: They work, but why?’, Social science quarterly. ISSN: 0038-4941, 83 (1): 190-205.  

Additional readings:

Blackman, A., Afsah, S. and Ratunanda, D. (2004). 'How Do Public Disclosure Pollution Control Programs Work? Evidence from Indonesia', Human Ecology Review, 11 (3): 235-246. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Gale, F., Ascui, F., and Lovell, H. (2017). ‘Sensing Reality? New Monitoring Technologies for Global Sustainability Standards’, Global environmental politics ISSN: 1526-3800. 17 (2): 65-83.

Gupta, Aarti. (2010) Transparency in Global Environmental Governance: A Coming of Age? Global Environmental Politics 10 (3): 1–9.

Jordan, Wurzel, and Zito (2003) ‘New Instruments of Environmental Governance: Patterns and Pathways of Change’, Environmental politics. ISSN: 0964-4016, 12(1): 1-24.

Tietenberg, T. (1998). 'Disclosure Strategies for Pollution Control', Environmental and resource economics. ISSN: 0924-6460, 11 (3-4): 587-602.

Van Alstine J (2014) Transparency in resource governance: the pitfalls and potential of "new oil" in Sub-Saharan Africa, Global environmental politics, 14, pp.20-39.



Lecture: Policy instruments 4: Voluntary instruments

Seminar: Covid-19 and the climate emergency

Key readings:

Blackman, A. and Sisto, N. (2005). Muddling through While Environmental Regulatory Capacity Evolves: What Role for Voluntary Agreements?, RFF Discussion Paper 05-16, Resources for the Future, Washigton, D.C. [Available at:  

Borck, J. and Coglianese, C. (2009) ‘Voluntary Environmental Programs: Assessing Their Effectiveness’, Annual review of environment and resources. ISSN: 1543-5938, 34: 305-329.  

Additional readings:

Delmas, M. and Terlaak, A. (2002) Regulatory Commitment to Negotiated Agreements: Evidence from the United States, Germany, The Netherlands and France, Journal of comparative policy analysis. ISSN: 1387-6988: Research and Practice, 4, pp5-29.

Howlett, M. & Rayner, J. (2007) Design Principles for Policy Mixes: Cohesion and Coherence in ‘New Governance Arrangements’, Policy and Society, 26:4, pp.1-18 Available online .

Karamanos, P. (2001). 'Voluntary Environmental Agreements: Evolution and Definition of a New Environmental Policy Approach', Journal of environmental planning and management. ISSN: 0964-0568, 44 (1): 67-84.

Koehler, D., A. (2007). The effectiveness of voluntary environmental programs: A policy at a crossroads? Policy studies journal. ISSN: 0190-292x, 35 (4): 689-722.

Prakash, A., Potoski, M. (2012) Voluntary environmental programs: A comparative perspective, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 31:1, 123-138.



Lecture: Global environmental governance

Seminar: A window of opportunity for policy change?

Key readings:

Biermann, F. and Pattberg, P. (2008) ‘Global Environmental Governance: Taking Stock, Moving Forward’, Annual review of environment and resources. ISSN: 1543-5938, 33: 277-294.  

Falkner, R. (2003), ‘Private Environmental Governance and International Relations: Exploring the Links’, Global environmental politics ISSN: 1526-3800, 3(2): 72 – 87.  

Additional readings:

Cashore, B. (2002). Legitimacy and the privatization of environmental governance: How nonstate market driven (NSMD) governance systems gain rule-making authority. Governance. ISSN: 0952-1895, 15 (4): 503-529.

Himley, M. (2008) Geographies of Environmental Governance: The Nexus of Nature and Neoliberalism. Geography compass. ISSN: 1749-8198. 2 (2): 433-451.

Paavola, J. (2007) Institutions and environmental governance: A reconceptualization. Ecological economics. ISSN: 0921-8009 63: 93-103.

Rhodes, R.A.W. (1996), ‘The New Governance: Governing without Government’, Political studies. ISSN: 0032-3217; 1467-9248, XLIV: 652-667.

Stoker, G. (1998) ‘Governance as Theory: Five Propositions’ International social science journal. ISSN: 0020-8701. 50(155): 17-28.

Young, O.R. (2008) ‘The Architecture of Global Environmental Governance: Bringing Science to Bear on Policy’, Global environmental politics ISSN: 1526-3800, 8(1): 14-32.





Lecture: Theories of the policy process

Seminar: The governance of air pollution in England

Key readings:

Keeley, J. and Scoones, I. (2000) “Knowledge, Power and Politics: The Environmental Policy-Making Process in Ethiopia”, Journal of modern African studies. ISSN: 0022-278X. Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 89-120.  

Cairney, P. Bog posts on policy processes:  

Ostrom (2011) “Background on the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework.” Policy studies journal. ISSN: 0190-292x 39 (1): 7–27  

Additional readings:

Cairney, P. (2012) Understanding Public Policy: theories and issues. Palgrave Macmillan: New York.

Cairney, P. (2013) Standing on the shoulder of giants: How do we combine the insights of multiple theories in public policy studies? Policy studies journal. ISSN: 0190-292x 41 (1): 1-21.

Pahl-Wostle (2009) “A conceptual framework for analysing adaptive capacity and multi-level learning processes in resource governance regimes”, Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions. ISSN: 0959-3780, 19(3): 354-365.

Sabatier, P. (ed.) (2007) Theories of the Policy Process, Cambridge, MA: Westview.

Weible, C. M. (2008) “Expert-Based Information and Policy Subsystems: A Review and Synthesis.” Policy studies journal. ISSN: 0190-292x 36 (4): 615–635.

Weible, Christopher, Paul Sabatier, and Kelly McQueen. 2009. “Themes and Variations: Taking Stock of the Advocacy Coalition Framework.” Policy studies journal. ISSN: 0190-292x 37 (1): 121–41.



Lecture: Non-governmental and community governance

Seminar: Values, governance and the future of conservation

Key readings

Dressler, W., et al (2010). From hope to crisis and back again? A critical history of the global CBNRM narrative. Environmental conservation, 5-15.*

Agrawal, A., Chhatre, A., & Hardin, R. (2008). Changing governance of the world's forests. science, 320(5882), 1460-1462.*

Additional readings

Brosius, J. P., & Campbell, L. M. (2010). Collaborative event ethnography: conservation and development trade-offs at the fourth world conservation congress. Conservation and Society, 8(4), 245-255.

Corson, Catherine. "Shifting environmental governance in a neoliberal world: US AID for conservation." Antipode 42.3 (2010): 576-602.

Holmes, G. (2011). Conservation's friends in high places: neoliberalism, networks, and the transnational conservation elite. Global Environmental Politics, 11(4), 1-21.

Rodríguez, J. P., et al. "Globalization of conservation: a view from the south." Science 317.5839 (2007): 755.

Smith, R. J., Verissimo, D., Leader-Williams, N., Cowling, R. M., & Knight, A. T. (2009). Let the locals lead. Nature, 462(7271), 280-281.



Lecture: Multi-level environmental governance

Seminar: Governing across scales

Key readings:

Cash, D. W., W. N. Adger, F. Berkes, P. Garden, L. Lebel, P. Olsson, L. Pritchard, and O. Young. (2006). ‘Scale and cross-scale dynamics: governance and information in a multilevel world.’ Ecology and society [electronic resource]. ISSN: 1708-3087 11(2):8.  

Di Gregorio M, Fatorelli L, Paavola J, Locatelli B, Pramova E, Nurrochmat DR, May PH, Brockhaus M, Sari IM, Kusumadewi SD. 2019. Multi-level Governance and Power in Climate Change Policy Networks. Global Environmental Change. 54, pp. 64-77.  

Termeer et al (2010) ‘Disentangling Scale Approaches in Governance Research: Comparing Monocentric, Multilevel, and Adaptive Governance’, Ecology and society [electronic resource]. ISSN: 1708-3087, 15(4): 29.  

Additional readings:

Acton, L., Campbell, L. M., Cleary, J., Gray, N. J., & Halpin, P. N. (2019). What is the Sargasso Sea? The problem of fixing space in a fluid ocean. Political geography, 68, 86-100.

Adger, W.N., Brown, K., Fairbrass, J., Jordan, A., Paavola, J., Rosendo, S. and Seyfang, G. (2003) `Governance for sustainability: towards a 'thick' analysis of environmental decision making’, Environment and planning. A, Environment and planning. ISSN: 0308-518x, 35(6):1095 – 1110.

Andonova, L.B., Mitchell, R.B. (2010) ‘The Rescaling of Global Environmental Politics’, Annual review of environment and resources. ISSN: 1543-5938, 35:255-282.

Bache, M. Flinders (Eds.)(2004) Multi-level governance and environmental policy. In. Multi-Level Governance, Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York.

Bulkeley, H. (2005) ‘Reconfiguring environmental governance: Towards a politics of scales and networks’. Political geography. ISSN: 0962-6298. 24: 875-902.

Cox, K. (1998) Spaces of dependence, spaces of engagement and the politics of scale, or: looking for local politics, Political geography, 17(1): 1-23.

Gupta, J. 2014. ‘Glocal’ politics of scale on environmental issues: climate change, water and forests, In F. Padt, P. Opdam, N. Polman, C. Termeer (Eds.), Scale-Sensitive Governance of the Environment., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd pp. 140-156.    

Jordan, A., H. Van Asselt, F. Berkhout, and T. Rayner. (2012) “Understanding the Paradoxes of Multi-level Governing: Climate Change Policy in the European Union.” Global environmental politics ISSN: 1526-3800 12 (2): 43–66.

McCarthy, J. (2005) ‘Scale, Sovereignty, and Strategy in Environmental Governance. Antipode. ISSN: 0066-4812. 37(4): 731-753.

Paavola J (2015) Multi-Level Environmental Governance: Exploring the Economic Explanations, Environmental policy and governance. ISSN: 1756-932x, doi: 10.1002/eet.1698




Lecture: Social justice and decarbonisation

Seminar: Public participation in low carbon infrastructure

Key readings:

Delina, L.L. and Sovacool, B.K. 2018. Of temporality and plurality: an epistemic and governance agenda for accelerating just transitions for energy access and sustainable development. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 34, pp.1–6.*

Hu, Z 2020. When energy justice encounters authoritarian environmentalism: The case of clean heating energy transitions in rural China. Energy Research & Social Science. 10.*

Sovacool, Benjamin K, Turnheim, Bruno, Hook, Andrew, Brock, Andrea and Martiskainen, Mari (2020) Dispossessed by decarbonisation: reducing vulnerability, injustice, and inequality in the lived experience of low-carbon pathways. World Development:*

Additional readings:

Jenkins K, McCauley D, Heffron R, Stephan H, Rehner R 2016. Energy justice: a conceptual review. Energy Res Soc Sci. 11:174-182.

Sovacool, Benjamin K, Ali, Saleem H, Bazilian, Morgan, Radley, Ben, Nemery, Benoit, Okatz, Julia and Mulvaney, Dustin (2020) Sustainable minerals and metals for a low carbon future. Science, 367 (6473). pp. 30-33. ISSN 1095-9203

Sovacool, Benjamin K, Hook, Andrew, Martiskainen, Mari, Brock, Andrea and Turnheim, Bruno (2019) The decarbonisation divide: contextualizing landscapes of low-carbon exploitation and toxicity in Africa. Global Environmental Change, 60. a102028. ISSN 0959-3780



Lecture: Environmental policy and governance in the Anthropocene

Seminar: Exam prep

Key readings:

Griggs, D. et al (2013) ‘Policy: Sustainable development goals for people and planet’, Nature. ISSN: 0028-0836; 1476-4687, 495: 305-307.  

Raworth, K. (2012) ‘A safe and just space for humanity: can we live within the doughnut?’ Oxfam discussion paper, February.  Available from:

Steffen, W. et al (2015) ‘Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet’, Science. ISSN: 0036-8075; 1095-9203, 347(6223).  

Additional readings:

Bennett, Elena M., et al. "Bright spots: seeds of a good Anthropocene." Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 14.8 (2016): 441-448.

Leach, M. et al (2012) ‘Transforming innovation for sustainability’, Ecology and society [electronic resource]. ISSN: 1708-3087, 17(2): 11.

Lövbrand, E., Beck, S., Chilvers, J., Forsyth, T., Hedrén, J. et al. (2015) “Who speaks for the future of Earth?: how critical social science can extend the conversation on the Anthropocene.” Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions. ISSN: 0959-3780, 32: 211-218

Malm, A., & Hornborg, A. (2014). The geology of mankind? A critique of the Anthropocene narrative. The Anthropocene Review, 1(1), 62-69.

Steffen, W. et al (2011) ‘The Anthropocene: From Global Change to Planetary Stewardship’, Ambio : a journal of the human environment. ISSN: 0044-7447; 1654-7209, 40(7): 739-761.


This list was last updated on 28/09/2021