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OADD 2165 - Climate Geopolitics: International Relations in a Warming World

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

The course will connect classical theories of international relations with practical case-studies and examples of environmental changes, and will propose new conceptual frameworks on this basis. Climate change has now grown from a scientific concern to one of the most pressing political issues of our time. Yet it continues to be often regarded as an environmental issue, which could solved through technical measures and environmental policies. This course challenges this assumption and shows how climate change poses a significant challenge to international relations, as well as to the very concepts they rely on: territory, sovereignty, justice. Though the Paris Agreement, negotiated at COP21 in 2015, constitutes the first universal agreement on climate change, the views and policies on climate change remain anchored in national contexts. As we are now entering the Anthropocene, the 'Age of Humans', what will international relations look like in a world transformed by climate change?


GEMENNE, François A. (Senior research associate)

Pedagogical format

Interactive seminars, alternating lectures and discussions.

Course validation

The grading will be based on two components: - Continuous participation throughout the year (one third of the final mark). Before each class, a short question to introduce each session will be posted, under the hashtag #ClimGeoPSIA. Students will be required to share their views on the question via Twitter, using the same hashtag. After each class, students will be invited to debate the topics addressed during the session on an online forum. Finally, active oral participation will be expected during each class ; - A final research paper, to be handed in at the end of the semester (two thirds of the final mark). In this assignment, students will be asked to challenge a classical concept or theory of international relations using the materials and topics covered in class. No oral presentation will be requested.

Required reading

  • Burke, A., Fishel, S., Dalby, S., & Levine, D. J. (2016). Planet Politics: A Manifesto from the End of IR. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 44(3), 499–523. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1400253
  • Dalby, S. (2014) Environmental Geopolitics in the Twenty-First Century, Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 39 (1): 1–14
  • Dryzek, J. (2015) Institutions for the Anthropocene: Governance in a Changing Earth System. British Journal of Political Science, November: 1–20. doi: 10.1017/S0007123414000453

Additional required reading

  • Biermann, F. (2014) The Anthropocene: A Governance Perspective. The Anthropocene Review 1 (1): 57–61. doi: 10.1177/2053019613516289
  • Hamilton C., Bonneuil C. and Gemenne F. (Eds.) (2015) The Anthropocene and the Global Environmental Crisis: Rethinking modernity in a new epoch. London: Routledge (Introduction)
  • Gemenne F. (2015) Géopolitique du Climat. Paris : Armand Colin. 2nd edition of Geopolitique du Changement climatique (2009).
  • Environnement et Relations Internationales (2015), CERISCOPE, online