Climate Justice

Spring 2015 quarter

Taught by

climate justice, climate policy and politics, political ecology, environment and development

'Climate justice’ has become the dominant discourse among civil society groups that have mobilized around and beyond UN climate talks over the last decade. But what exactly does it mean, and what are its implications for ongoing climate negotiations and policy-making? This course will introduce students to the debates within academic, activist and policy circles around the complex and multifaceted idea of climate justice. We will take an interdisciplinary approach that draws upon political ecology, critical geopolitics, political philosophy and sociology. In addition to the academic literature, we will explore the ways in which this idea is put into practice by civil society groups around the world through local and international case studies of climate justice activism. We will also examine current international climate negotiations and the role played by the climate justice discourse in these contentious negotiations.

Faculty Biography
Shangrila Joshi Wynn, Ph.D., is a political ecologist with a particular focus on questions of justice and development in the context of climate change policy and politics. Recent research (Dissertation: Justice, Development and India's Climate Politics: A Postcolonial Political Ecology of the Atmospheric Commons ) has examined climate politics from a North-South environmental justice perspective. Her current research extends this focus by examining climate policy implementation as it intersects with development policy and practice in South Asia, most recently in the form of the Clean Development Mechanism. She is also interested in questions of diversity in higher education, and has conducted NSF-funded collaborative research on the experiences of US geographers of color. Shangrila is originally from Nepal, where she studied Environmental Sciences at St. Xavier’s College in Kathmandu, followed by a year of full-time work as an environmental reporter for The Himalayan Times. She came to the US for graduate studies in International Affairs with a focus on environment and development studies at Ohio University. She continued these interests in an interdisciplinary doctoral program in Environmental Science, Studies and Policy at the University of Oregon with Geography as the focal discipline.  While a doctoral student, she was awarded an OUS-SYLFF fellowship for international research and a Wayne Morse ‘Climate Ethics and Equity’ Dissertation Fellowship in support of her dissertation research and writing. Shangrila comes to the Graduate Program on the Environment with rich teaching experience at the private liberal arts college as well as the public research university educational environments.

Program Details

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Evening

Advertised schedule: 6-10p Mon


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Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning: Access to web-based tools required, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Registration Information

Credits: 4 (Spring)

Class standing: Graduate

Maximum enrollment: 15


Course Reference Number

(4 GR credits): 30263

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