Jason F Lambacher
POL S 401
Topics can include, but are not limited to, analytical theory pertaining to justice, exploitation, and freedom; revolution and social changes; collective choice and action; sexuality and politics; critical theory; Marxist theory; post-structuralism. Content varies. Recommended: POL S 201.
This course surveys the intersection of environmental ideas and political theory. Political theory is a normative enterprise that evokes reflection on ideas central to political life. Environmental political thought calls for a similar kind of reflection but includes environmental themes in its imagination. This class critically investigate concepts such as nature, individualism, society, justice, consumption, wilderness, bioregionalism, phenomenology, sacrifice, and utopianism from political and environmental points of view. An examination of why different “schools” of political thought interpret environmental problems from their own unique, often richly historical, perspectives helps to accomplish this task. Further, environmental political theory is not equivalent to “environmental politics” or “environmental policy,” though many of the ideas encountered in course texts animate the motivations of activists and politicians and support certain principles of legislation. Environmental political thought is concerned, above all, with meaning and is particularly attuned to perennial controversies about "the good life" and the significance of living in a world that is alive.
Student learning goals
Critical engagement with environmental texts, open discussion, and committed writing.
General method of instruction
Seminar discussion and short lectures.
Class assignments and grading
Papers and exams.