ENVIRON 462 - Topics in Environmental Social Science
Section: 004 Environmental Rights, Justice, and Law
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Program in the Environment (ENVIRON)
Department: LSA Environment
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
At least one environmentally related course prior to this class.
May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Rackham Information:
Rackham credit requires additional work.
Primary Instructor:

This course explores how our current legal system contributes to environmental problems and solutions. Through a series of case studies, we will first understand how the legal system builds on conceptions of individuality, property, sovereignty, and commodification to create environmental destruction and injustice. The case studies include the degradation of the Colorado River over the past century, the future of the Arctic region under climate change in the next century, and the present and ongoing taking of human life in the Flint water crisis. We will then explore alternative approaches to environmental law, including natural rights, community stewardship, and human rights protected under the Constitution. While the course does not provide a detailed survey of U.S. environmental law, it teaches the fundamental concepts of environmental law and the U.S. legal system to understand both the status quo and need for change. Students will gain a deep and conceptual understanding of modern environmental law — the values and assumptions it’s based upon, how it works (or doesn’t work) in various settings, and what must be changed for the law to play its needed role in making a more just and sustainable society.

Course Requirements:

Course requirements include:

  1. Attending class having done the assigned reading;
  2. Participation in class discussions and leading several class discussions as assigned; and
  3. Completion of written assignments, including several analytic papers throughout the semester and a final paper.
  4. Readings will include books, articles, reports, and primary materials (cases and statutes) to be assigned.

    Intended Audience:

    Juniors, seniors, and graduate students.

    Class Format:

    Seminar format which meets two times a week for 90 minutes.

ENVIRON 462 - Topics in Environmental Social Science
Schedule Listing
003 (LEC)
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
004 (LEC)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
005 (LEC)
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
006 (DIS)
M 9:00AM - 10:00AM
007 (DIS)
M 10:00AM - 11:00AM
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