The Politics of Climate Change - ARTS2242

Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

School: School of Humanities and Languages

Course Outline: School of Humanities & Languages

Campus: Sydney

Career: Undergraduate

Units of Credit: 6

EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)

Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 3

Enrolment Requirements:

Prerequisite: 30 units of credit at Level 1

CSS Contribution Charge: 2 (more info)

Tuition Fee: See Tuition Fee Schedule

Further Information: See Class Timetable

Available for General Education: Yes (more info)

View course information for previous years.


Subject Area: Environmental Humanities

Though climate change is typically understood as a scientific or environmental problem, that requires economic or technological solutions, it is perhaps better understood as a social, cultural and political phenomenon which is remaking the ways in which we understand our relationship with the Earth. How we understand climate, weather, nature and the environment are crucial for understanding contemporary global warming and our responses to it. ARTS2242 begins from this proposition and examines the underlying politics of climate change. It is designed to equip students with a conceptual and methodological toolkit for interpreting and making sense of the social aspects of climate change and the often intense political arguments that surround it. The course explores the history of climate science and the more recent emergence of a global consensus on anthropogenic global warming. The course goes onto to consider the persistence of climate change denialism and skepticism in the face of this consensus and the continuing controversy over the adequacy of climate change science. The course also explores recent work on abrupt climate change, climate modeling and the politics of climate change adaptation and mitigation technologies. The course draws on a multi-disciplinary framework for understanding the social, historical and political aspects of climate change, with insights from politics, sociology, and science and technology studies (STS). Students will be introduced to key areas of contemporary scholarly thinking in the environmental humanities – including political ecology, the sociology of scientific knowledge and contemporary political theory. These issues will be explored through group case study projects offering an opportunity for independent research and analysis together with targeted readings from recent scholarly work.

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