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F&ES 854 01 (24023)  
Institutions and the Environment
Benjamin Cashore
T 1.00-3.50 S
Spring 2014 
 
3 credits. One of the most critically important questions facing those seeking to promote environmental stewardship of the world's biosphere is to understand better what types of local, domestic, global, and non-state institutions might best promote meaningful and enduring environmental problem solving. The purpose of this seminar is to review key works in political science and related disciplines on institutions to assess their direct or indirect implications for environmental governance and effectiveness. The course assesses perspectives from rational choice, historical, and sociological institutionalism that have permeated comparative public scholarship; the treatment of institutions with international relations literature; the attention that common property scholars have placed on understanding the development of local institutions; and the emergence and proliferation of private governance institutions. We are curious about understanding the theoretical underpinnings and scholarly debates about how support for such systems occurs. We also assess the various theories against empirical evidence that assess their support and influence ameliorating key resource and environmental problems.