17.32 Environmental Politics and Policy

Spring 2003

Photograph of government environmental regulation books.
Government environmental regulation books. (Image courtesy Daniel Bersak.)

Course Highlights

This course includes extensive lecture notes.

Course Description

"Environmental Politics & Policy" explores the workings of environmental policymaking in the United States.

  • What are the big issues facing environmental policy?
  • How did we end up with the policies we have today?
  • Why does it take a crisis to move environmental policy forward?
  • Why do political factors - economic interests, social and political values, bureaucratic styles, ideologies, elections, etc. - always seem to overwhelm sound scientific and engineering judgment in determining policy outcomes?

Case studies ranging from cleaning up toxic waste pollution to endangered species protection probe the clashes between science and politics at local, state, and federal levels.

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Prof. Steve Meyer

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session

One session / week
1 hour / session