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Environmental History, Global Environmental Policy
Anne McDonald

Anne McDonald

7-1 Kioi-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8554, Japan
Sophia University
Building No.2, Room 1618


Lecture courses



環境史とはこれまで人間社会はどのように否認減(自然界)とかかりをもってきたのか。このことを追求するのが環境史である。この学問は、人間がどのように自然界をかえてきたのか、それに影響を与えてきたの か。また自然界が人間社会にどのように影響をおよぼしたのか、その考察をしようとしている学問である。人為による変化なの か、自然現象による変化なのか、潜在的であったにしても、突然変異であったにしても、その原因が人間社会にあるのか、非人間社会側にあるのか、非人間社会(自然界)側にあるのか、あるいは双方にあるのか、その様々な変化の現象を追求する学問でもある。だから簡単に言えば、人間社会と非人間社会(自然現象)の互恵的影響を追求する学問ということになる。

Course Title: Global Environmental Policy

Course Description: Environmental policy is relatively new to the global stage of policy dialogue and initiatives. This course will explore the environmental degradation and causes that catalyzed global level inter-governmental policy discussions leading to United Nations conventions and protocols, among other global level policy initiatives.
In order to better understand environmental degradation and its challenges, as well as what drives global environmental policy design and implementation, the social, cultural, economic and political mechanisms that advance and/or hinder environmental protectionism at the global level will also be explored.
It is the aim of this course to help students further both their ability to analyze environmental problems and their understanding of global environmental policy.
* lectures may be subject to change

Course Title: Integrative Environmental Policy

Course Description: Mainstreaming environmental policies is a universal challenge of policy makers at all levels of government, be it local, national or international. This course will explore the relationship between local-national-and global environmental policy initiatives and environmental change. How do global initiatives such as the Kyoto Protocol and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity influence national and local environmental policy dialogue, design and implementation? Conversely, what local initiatives influence national and global policy? Further, what are the implications of environmental change for local-national-global policy interactions?
Looking at specific environmental issues and themes from around the world, this course aims to explore the relationship between local, national and global interactions with a specific look at the barriers to integrative environmental policy development, but also explore the potentials of integrative policy formulation and implementation needed to mainstream environmental policies from local to global levels.

Course Title: Environmental History

Course Description: Environmental history has been described as the Earth’s birds-eye view of global history. How humans and their activities have influenced environmental change and conversely how changes in the natural environmental have impacted human society throughout history are central questions explored in the interdisciplinary study of environmental history. An academic discipline that evolved from concern over growing environmental degradation and change, it is a discipline not only concerned with the past, but aims to explore working solutions for current and future environmental problems by understanding how humans have interacted with the natural environment throughout their existence on the globe.
This course will focus on the 14 to early 20th Century, a time in history often referred to as the era of European colonialism and frontier expansionism. The reason for this focus is that it was the dawn of environmental degradation on a global scale. An understanding of this time in human history is critical to understanding contemporary society’s complex global environmental issues and challenges.

Course Title: Marine Environmental Policy

Course Description: Environmental policy is relatively new to the global stage of policy dialogue and initiatives. Much of the environmental policy efforts to date are land-based leaving 70% of the globe’s environment, the ocean/marine environment, often ignored or shut out from mainstream policy initiatives.
The ocean is in a crisis, threatened by adverse human activities such as overfishing and degradation of marine habitats. Scientists estimate that 45% of the main marine fish stocks or species are overexploited, that large predatory fish have declined by 90% and coral reefs - ‘the rainforests of the sea’ and home to one-third of all known marine species, are in peril. From the local community-based management level to global policy of multilateral environmental agreements, there is a serious need for more people with a solid scientific foundation as a researcher of the oceans in policy.
This course will explore the marine environmental policy first from a global perspective on what has driven marine environmental policy from the 20th Century and then take a more local view of efforts from countries around the world to develop marine environmental policies. We will thus be looking at United Nation related multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) but also look at case studies from different countries to try and get both a global outlook and understanding but also understand the challenges and potentials of marine environmental policy from the local level.


Practical knowledge and ability to translate that into working solutions for society will be a foundation of the research seminar. We will travel to the field to carry out hands-on practical learning to environmental problems and also learn from case studies from Japan, Asia and elsewhere in the world to learn and discuss the universality of global environmental issues and the diverse ways communities work to develop locally-relevant solutions. We will also look at how local efforts are influenced by global environmental policy efforts and visa versa, with the aim of gaining understanding need to develop integrated policies to address environmental challenges.