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Unformatted text preview: POSC 220g Critical Issues in American Politics: Environmental Challenges Fall 2009 Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00 3:20 p.m. Taper Hall 102 Website on Blackboard at blackboard.usc.edu Professor Jefferey M. Sellers VKC 317, Phone: x01684, E-mail: email@example.com Webpage: www.usc.edu/dept/polsci/sellers Office hours: 9:30 a.m. 11:00 a.m., Mondays and Wednesdays Today, global climate change confronts humanity with one of our gravest crises. Earlier civilizations have collapsed under the weight of much lesser environmental challenges. The contemporary challenges from climate change for policy and politics loom at every scale, from the global to the personal. How can the world reach agreement on what do? Can policymakers, business and the public in the United States alter the current course to achieve a sustainable economy? What changes would we as Americans have to make in our everyday lives to make sustainability possible? This course employs a variety of interactive methods to introduce you to these essential questions, and at the same time to provide an overview of U.S. policymaking and politics in general. Classes will be built around films, group activities, and role-playing exercises on domestic and international policymaking. In the first two weeks of the course, we will examine the early history of human efforts to meet environmental challenges, and the dimensions of the emerging challenge that global climate change represents. We then turn to an overview of the institutional infrastructure of environmental law in the United States, and of the policies in other areas, such as air pollution law, that provide much of the current framework for efforts to address climate change. 1 The remainder of the course will center around role-playing exercises that will focus attention on the politics of climate change policy at the national level and on the international stage. In the National Sustainability Challenge, teams of students will assume the roles of legislators and interest groups in negotiations over legislation that is being considered this fall in the U.S. Congress to address climate change. In the Global Sustainability Challenge, students will take on the role of representatives for the key countries in the international negotiations that are currently under way to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which the United States has never ratified, with a new global climate agreement. At both the national and the global levels, we will use these exercises to analyze and reflect on the prospects for coordinated national and international action on climate change...
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