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The unit explores environmental governance in the context of areas of global concern and shared management – focusing on the polar regions, the oceans and the global climate. The concepts of sustainable development and the global commons are crucial ideas governance in these areas. This unit discusses the historical development and contested nature of governance in specific controversies including the management of ocean fisheries, protection of marine biodiversity, whaling, conservation of Antarctica, and addressing the threat of climate change. Major issues and concepts covered in the unit include: "good governance" and international development; the theory of the tragedy of the commons and other hypotheses of collective action problems; shared governance of contested spaces and transboundary resources; and the geo-political context of global environmental governance. These issues are explored through case studies from around the world, and will include some consideration of Australia's role in the selected examples.

Summary 2021

Unit name Global Environmental Governance
Unit code KSM703
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Sciences and Engineering
Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies
Discipline Oceans and Cryosphere

Benjamin Richardson

Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? No



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Teaching Pattern

Intensive teaching model


Class participation (20%); research paper (80%).

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