Photo: Li-An Lim

Environmental politics and institutions

Master’s level
15 credits (ECTS)
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Full education cost: 22 000 SEK
First payment: 22 000 SEK

No fees are charged for EU and EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students.

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Application opens 15 September 2022

This education has a focus on sustainability. The teacher has created the course or program to fit into at least one of our 10 sustainability criteria. For you as a student, the sustainability label means guidance, quality assurance, and a guarantee that courses or programs contain a pronounced perspective on sustainability.


In this course you will learn about the political attempts to cope with several environmental problems related to for example the marine environment, water, land use, biodiversity, and various airborne environmental problems including climate change.

The course is offered as a semi-elective course within the Master's programme in Political Science and also as a single subject course.


How can society, through policy attempts, cope and reduce a range of environmental problems related to for example the marine environment, water, land use, biodiversity and various airborne environmental problems including climate change? These questions are discussed during the course, which are based on several theoretical approaches, mainly social dilemma theory, theories about public opinion and behaviour, and institutional theory. However, also political theory (principally distributional theory) and game theory have central roles throughout the course.

The course starts with an introduction of the central concept and theoretical starting points. The course is then divided into three blocks that deal with the importance of institutions for environmental policy, the influence of norms on environmental behavior, and the design of environmental policy instruments. The course ends with the writing of a course paper in the form of a research plan.

Prerequisites and selection


Admission to the course requires the successful completion of the course SK2121 Political Science Analysis (15 credits) or completion of a minimum of 15 credits from the courses given in one of the programmes, Master’s Programme in European Studies or Master’s Programme in International Administration and Global Governance, or equivalent. Applicants must prove their knowledge of English: English 6/English B from Swedish Upper Secondary School or the equivalent level of an internationally recognized test, for example TOEFL, IELTS.  


Selection is based upon the number of credits from previous university studies, maximum 165 credits.

After graduation

The course can be combined with other in-depth courses in political science as well as method and thesis courses on the advanced level.


The Department of Political Science is located in Campus Haga, which lies right in the centre of the city of Gothenburg.

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