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Fall 2012 Syllabus

Energy, Climate Change and Sustainable Development in China


Professor: Junhua Zhang
j.h.zhang@gmx.net, Office Hours Monday 16.30-17.30, Friday 11.30-12.30, Office for staff
International Relations (third floor of the SIPA building, left wing) /Israel Center
Phone: 13661681154
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Course Overview:
This course explores the challenges associated with climate change, energy and
development from multiple perspectives, disciplines and scales. Students will
examine the evolving science and policy of climate change, the uneven global
distribution of both greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts, energy
technology innovation, technologies and policies for both climate change mitigation
and adaptation, and the conflicts between challenges of developed and developing
countries. Within both a global and a Chinese context, students will explore the
integration of climate change in sustainable development and incorporate theoretical
perspectives of socio-technical transitions.

Learning goals:
(1) apply scientific understanding of climate change (with its inherent uncertainty) to
the consideration of policy and other mechanisms for social and technical change
(2) understand the interaction between mitigation, energy efficiency and technology
innovation.
(3) integrate different stakeholder perspectives, disciplines, scales and geographic
contexts in evaluating mitigation and adaptation efforts
(4) understand Chinas development strategy
(5) develop both oral and written communication skills to facilitate systematic
analysis and effective consideration of these complex issues

Required Readings:
Selected chapters of three books
Articles (= weekly readings) which will be regularly sent to students.

Course Requirements and Grading Distribution
Participation, Attendance, Engagement 20%
Weekly Reading Response 20%
Presentations (1 on weekly readings and 1 for final paper) 20%
Final research paper 40%

Presentation - Integrating an Additional Reference with the Assigned Reading:
Each student will have one opportunity to initiate the class session with a 15 minutes
presentation that is prepared in advance with another student. The presenting students
are responsible for reporting on at least one additional reading and integrating the
presentation of this additional reading with the required readings. These presentations
should NOT be a simple summary of the readings, but should integrate and synthesize
the assigned readings, report on an additional related resource, and raise two
well-developed questions that will lead to an engaging class discussion.

Final Research Paper: The final research paper provides an opportunity for each student to
explore in more depth one aspect of the challenges associated with climate change, energy,
and development strategy. This final paper can address and explore a research question that
expands on the previous presentation. In selecting a topic for the final research paper, students
are encouraged to consider their larger academic and professional goals; this research paper
could be synergistic with your final MA paper, your career aspirations, etc.
NOTE: Please refer to the Research Paper Guidelines for more details suggestions on how to
write an effective research paper. Each student (or pair of students) will present their research
at the end of the semester.

Schedule:
Date Topic Note
Sept 10 Introduction to Political Science, IR and
IPE

Sept 14 Main features of climate change politics
Sept 17 Chinas response to climate change Postponed
Sept 21 Climate justice global and national
perspectives

Sept 25 Energy efficiency and security
Sept 28 Development and environment / emission
and global responsibility

Oct 8 Chinas renewable energy and its
perspective / Chinas development strategy

Oct 12 Financing climate change efforts
Oct 15 China in comparison with USA / EU
Oct 19 Climate change and potential regional
conflict

Oct 22 Chinas political system in meeting its
targets regarding energy efficiency and
emission reduction

Oct 26 Capitalism and climate change politics
Oct 27 Presentation of the final papers