International Environmental Protection

Prof. UO dr Joost Platje
Number of hours: 
2h X 15 weeks = 30 hours (1 semester)

Obtain knowledge in and understand issues of environmental protection in the context of globalisation and differences in institutional environments. The students should be able to analyse effects of policy for different environmental problems at a global scale on other elements of sustainable development from the perspective of transaction costs, property rights and multilevel governance. This analysis should be critical and coherent.


Short essays (50% of mark). Presentation and discussion (50% of mark). In case of failing to fulfil these requirements, the student has to take a written test in order to pass.


During the course, an overview will be given of issues of environmental protection at an international and global level. For analyzing effectiveness of international environmental policy, a transaction cost and property rights approach will be used. Important issues are good governance, differences in priorities at different levels of administrative scale and public good features of environmental protection in the context of multilevel governance, i.e. at which level of administrative scale (local, national, transnational, global) these public goods should be provided.

Environmental sustainability is a condition for long-term feasibility of economic activity and welfare of highly developed countries. However, as many developing countries aim at increasing levels of production, this puts immense pressure on the availability of natural resources. After a general theoretical introduction, the question will be raised how these countries can be supported in formulating sustainable strategies for achieving their developmental aims with help of environmentally-sound technologies, measures and behavior. Focus will be on the challenge of climate change.

The starting point of analysis is designing a participative process for a country (stakeholder involvement) in order to establish developmental goals for the next 10 or 20 years. Based on these developmental goals, strategic sectors will be identified. Afterwards, an analysis should be provided to find out which technologies should be used in order to achieve the developmental goals at the least possible CO2 emission and other damage to the environment (biodiversity, renewable and non-renewable energy resources, pollution). Finally, factors for successful implementation of use of such technologies are identified.

 Course contents:

1. The importance of transaction costs and property rights for sustainable development. development.

2. Sustainable energy supply and climate change

3. Elements of institutional capital creating capacity and capability for sustainable development: value in the public domain, institutional strength, good governance, institutional equilibrium.

4. Priorities in sustainable development and the level of economic development.

5. Environmental goods (e.g., climate change, biodiversity, energy and food resources, air, water, etc.) - private, common, public or club goods?

6. Stakeholder strength and their priorities in a multilevel governance perspective.

7. Project for essay and presentation - sustainable environmental strategies and technology needs assessment supporting socio-economic development