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    Framed by mātauranga Māori, post-colonial political theory, and other critical perspectives, this course examines the politics of climate change and climate change justice.

    Climate change is an urgent planetary problem however political responses range from sluggish to obstructive. In this course we examine the key political issues of climate change action by asking such questions as:

    • What does climate change require of politics?
    • What international political structures are there for addressing climate change?
    • Why is national politics generally slow to respond?
    • What are the economics of climate change?
    • What are the sources of resistance?
    • How does political philosophy influence political responses to climate change?
    • What are the key tactics of climate activists?
    • What measures could politicians implement to address greenhouse gas emissions, and/or limit global warming?
    • Is there any connection between colonialism and climate change/climate change inaction?
    • Who are the winners and losers in the climate change debate?

    Framed by Mātuaranga Māori and de/anticolonial theory the course examines the politics of climate change and climate change justice.

    About this paper

    Paper title Special Topic: Politics of Climate Change
    Subject Politics
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    18 200-level POLS points
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music

    Students will require some background in political science and preferably have an understanding of the basic principles of political theory.


    Teaching staff

    Dr Christine Winter (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa)

    Teaching Arrangements

    Two fifty-minute lectures per week and eight fifty-minute tutorials.


    There is no text book for this course. Readings will come from a variety of text, journal and news sources and sites.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised

    Global Perspective, Interdisciplinary Perspective, Lifelong Learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical Thinking, Cultural Understanding, Ethics, Environmental Literacy, Information Literacy, Research, Self-Motivation, Teamwork
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to:

    • Demonstrate familiarity with key debates in climate change including climate change justice and colonisation/imperialism, and the relevance of these debates for effective climate action
    • Produce independent research of high quality that integrates the key readings with an analysis of key issues in climate change politics
    • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the different approaches that Indigenous Peoples in general, and Māori in particular, bring to the underlying causal issues of climate change, climate change ethics, and climate change politics
    • Demonstrate the ability to engage constructively in discussion, debates and scenarios. Climate change and its solutions are (or have become) politically and culturally divisive. Students will be able to identify the sites, discourses, cultural, economic and political forces of division, and be able to discuss these in the spirit of collaborative solutions


    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 11:00-11:50 29-35, 37-42
    Tuesday 11:00-11:50 29-35, 37-42


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    Attend one stream from
    A1 Wednesday 14:00-14:50 30-35, 38-41
    A2 Wednesday 15:00-15:50 30-35, 38-41
    A3 Thursday 13:00-13:50 30-35, 38-41
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