POLS 346 Spring 2016

Environmental Politics and Policy

M, W 1:45-3:30, in Ramstad 203

Sid Olufs

Xavier 153, olufs@plu.edu

Office Hours: M 12:30-1:30, T 9:30-12:30, W 3:30-4:30, plus by appointment. .

Catalog Description. The course examines environmental problems from political perspectives, including international and domestic political contexts, and methods of evaluating policies.

Course Readings

       Christopher McGrory Klyza and David J. Sousa, American Environmental Policy: Beyond Gridlock, revised edition, MIT Press, 2013, ISBN-13: 978-0262525046

       Sandra Steingraber, Living Downstream: An Ecologist's Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment, Da Capo Press, 2010, ISBN-13: 978-0306818691

       The class will make extensive use of online material and resources posted in Sakai as part of the required reading. We will make extensive use of the course website, at http://community.plu.edu/~olufsdw/346.htm

Coursework. These assignments, along with the readings, support two goals for the course. First, you should know a lot about course content. The things we study have real consequences for human affairs. Second, college graduates should have highly developed skills--reading, writing, speaking, critical and logical thinking require practice.

       Case Study. Each student will write a study of the political activities of an environmental interest group. (20%)

       Policy Paper. Each student will write an analysis of a policy or policy proposal related to course content. The policy paper will follow a particular approach. (20%)

       Response papers & Activities. In-class activities and out-of-class assignments occur regularly, usually as a response to assigned readings. This can include content analysis of documents, review or abstracts of articles, answering questions about reading, leading the class in a discussion of this week's environmental news, analysis of graphs and tables, and so on. (50%)

       Final examination, Tuesday, May 24, 11-12:50. (10%).

Schedule. [Klyza & Sousa = KS, Steingraber = S ]



Feb. 8—Introduction, the bees. S Chapter Two. Rachel Carson.

Feb. 10— Cancer, Nuclear Weapons, Infectious Diseases. S, Forward and Chapter One, and Sakai readings.

Feb. 15— Presidents' Day Holiday, No Class

Feb. 17— KS, prefaces and chs. 1 & 2. The policy process; Institutions, groups and politics.

Feb. 22— Climate policy. Sakai readings. Select interest group for paper assignment.

Feb. 24— Climate policy, continued. Sakai readings. Note: PLU Food Symposium Assignment

Feb. 29— Meet in SCAN, screening of PLU students' film, Waste Not

Mar. 2— KS, ch. 3. Congress. Critical perspectives on your papers.

Mar. 7— KS, ch. 4. Presidents.

Mar. 9— KS, ch. 5. Courts in environmental policy.

Mar. 14— Courts in environmental policy, continued. Sakai readings.

Mar. 16— Class Panels on Groups in the Policy Process.

Mar. 21— Can we escape Gridlock? (1). KS, ch. 6.

Mar. 23— Federalism, the States. KS, ch. 7. Policy paper topics.

Mar. 28 PLU Spring Break

Mar. 30 PLU Spring Break

Apr. 4— KS, ch. 8. Expectations for the policy process.

Apr. 6— Politics of Food Safety, and the chemicals connection. S, Chapters three, four, and five, Sakai readings.

Apr. 11— More on Food and chemicals. S, chapters six and seven. Also, Reports of findings on groups are due, and will be discussed.

Apr. 13— workshop on policy paper approach

Apr. 18— Air and Water. S, chapters eight and nine. Also, Bring to class the first two pages of your case study paper.

Apr. 20— Economic analysis. Sakai readings, S chapter ten and eleven. We will also have a review of the policy paper approach

Apr. 25— What about Justice? S, chapter eleven and afterward, Sakai readings.

Apr. 27— Security Issues. Sakai readings.

May 2— China, a special case. Sakai readings. Case study papers are due.

May 4— Reasons for hope. Sakai readings.

May 9— What Students Have Done. (1)

May 11— What Students Have Done. (2)

May 16—Conclusions. Policy papers are due.

May 18— Discussion of exam.

Final Examination: Tuesday, May 24, 11-12:50 pm.