Assignment Questions

You are required to answer one question from the six options listed below. In order to answer the questions you will also need to draw on relevant theory. Please note there is no ‘checklist’ of theory and you are required to identify.
Assessment Instructions Please read this booklet in its entirety as it contains both guidance on completing the assignment and essential information concerning the nature of the assignment, how to achieve a higher grade and how to conduct the required research for your case study. In putting this assignment booklet together we have anticipated many of the questions you might ask and incorporated questions raised during the initial leminars. As details of the assessment requirements are contained in this booklet students are expected to have read this booklet before raising any queries as it is extremely likely that the answer to your question is contained within the booklet. The module is assessed by a written case study assignment consisting of a critical analytical . The essay is based upon an independently researched topic which will test your knowledge of the course materials and secondary literature discussed during the course and your ability to apply theory to a case study (examining a contemporary environmental problem and the policy response to it). You may use a broadly defined case study (e.g. the problem of air pollution), or a number of individual cases or issues linked to an overall policy or problem (e.g. emissions controls, carbon footprint policy, clean air plans) dependent on which approach suits you best. However, note that the case study must be independently researched which means that you have to find relevant literature and data on your chosen case study independently and without the help of a tutor (although you may consult your course tutor about some of the content and the structure). So, it is for you to decide what is an appropriate case study based on your understanding of the module materials. This is part of the assessment and staff will not advise on what is an appropriate case study or comment in advance on the merits of your chosen approach. There is ample material within the course readings and the teaching materials for you to decide on your approach and to conduct your research and we have discussed various case examples in the weekly teaching sessions. But you will also need to go beyond the basic sources provided by using the library, its electronic resources and other web and media sources for information on the topic. Arguments in your essays should be clearly evidenced and backed-up by reputable academic references giving reasons for your answer. You are encouraged to read widely from the available sources. *********************************************************************************************** ??1 Assignment Questions You are required to answer one question from the six options listed below. In order to answer the questions you will also need to draw on relevant theory. Please note there is no ‘checklist’ of theory and you are required to identify the relevant theoretical context from your review of books and journals. However we have discussed relevant theoretical approaches and ethical principles/ideas in the weekly teaching sessions. You are also required to explore the question through use of a case study and to draw on material from across the course incorporating material from a minimum of three of the course topics. If you are in any doubt about the topics, return to My Learning or examine the module handbook. Both theory and case study analysis must be present in your work to satisfy the requirements of the assessment criteria and Learning Outcomes. Information for the case study can be obtained via independent research of literature and official sources (government, policy and legal sources such as court judgments and summaries) as well as the reports of relevant NGOs, pressure groups and features in specialist publications some of which are referred to in the course materials. The case study analysis should demonstrate how theory applies in practice and it should generate the main argument and conclusions for your essay. 1. Critically evaluate the benefits of an environmental ethics approach to contemporary environmental policy. What benefits does an ethical perspective bring to environmental protection policy and how can mainstream environmental policy benefit from adopting ethical principles? 2. ‘In general, if any branch of trade, or any division of labour, be advantageous to the public, the freer and more general the competition, it will always be the more so’ – Adam Smith. Critically analyse this statement in respect of the conflict between neoliberal markets and environmental protection. Evaluate the extent to which markets and neoliberal production fail to take into account environmental harms. 3. ‘If we talk about the environment, for example, we have to talk about environmental racism – the fact that kids in South Central Los Angeles have a third of the lung capacity of kids in Santa Monica’ – Danny Glover. Critically analyse this statement in respect of the concept of environmental justice. Evaluate the extent to which contemporary environmental policy considers the needs of vulnerable and marginalised communities. 4. ‘Climate change is already causing, every week, as many deaths as occurred in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001′ – Pete Singer. Evaluate the effectiveness of state action in addressing climate change drawing on both ethical and policy perspectives in examining how contemporary environmental policy might better address this issue. 5. Critically analyse the effectiveness of different types of policy approaches in dealing with major contemporary environmental problems. Evaluate the necessity of integrating ethical perspectives into mainstream environmental policy and consider the achievements, challenges and failures of contemporary environmental policies in achieving a balance between continued production and environmental protection. 2 6. Critically evaluate the role of environmental NGOs in challenging environmental harm caused by private business. Evaluate the effectiveness of current mechanisms for resolving environmental disputes and providing citizens with effective access to environmental justice. must be fully referenced using the Harvard referencing system and must be submitted online using Turnitin via the assignment portal provided on the module My Learning pages. Guidance on Completing and Submitting your Assignment The following pages contain further guidance on researching, completing and structuring your assignment and the assessment criteria. You are advised to become fully conversant with this guidance and the generic assessment criteria used at Level 7 (Masters level) which applies to this assignment. Details of the criteria are contained in this booklet. Learning Outcomes The SSC4605 course is intended to achieve specific Learning Outcomes and your assessment in part examines how well you have met the following outcomes: Knowledge – on completion of this module the successful student will be able to demonstrate the following knowledge: 1. Provide a critical outline of the concept of environmental responsibility and critically evaluate how environmental responsibility is shared and distributed across a range of actors and policy mechanisms 2. Compare and contrast the different meanings of environmental responsibility and the nature of environmental rights, responsibilities and obligations, both nationally and internationally 3. Apply the principles of environmental citizenship to questions of individual and collective responsibility for environmental problems and evaluate the ability of different environmental policy approaches to address contemporary environmental problems Skills – on completion of this module the successful student will be able to: 4. Effectively explain how ethics can help in addressing questions of environmental responsibility and be able to recognise the ethical dimensions and conflicts inherent in contemporary environmental policy. 5. Explain and analyse both policy and action pertaining to environmental responsibility and effective environmental protection. 3 6. Conduct small scale research to identify and evaluate examples of effective environmental policy and its implementation using the principles of environmental responsibility and environmental ethics These Learning Outcomes are contained in the Module Handbook and you should bear these in mind when putting together your assignments and may find them a useful guide to assessing how well your essay and the knowledge you display meets the objectives of the course. Drawing on Material from Across the Course As mentioned earlier, you are required to draw on material from across the course using material from at least three topics of the course in your answer. The course topics were designed both to fit together and to complement each other with a balance between theory and practical topics. For example, if discussing fisheries policy and the problem of over- fishing as a case study it is possible to draw on relevant material on Environmental Policy in Context and the conflict between neoliberal markets and protection of the environment, material on the public trust and common good from the Rights-based traditions in Environmental Policy topic and also material from the Lobbying for the Environment topic or The Conservation Corporation topic in respect of how various NGOs have attempted to influence fisheries policy. The topics you choose and the manner in which you integrate different aspects is up to you, but an essay that does not draw on at least three topics has not met the learning outcomes and assessment criteria and thus has not answered the question. As such, it cannot score high marks. When planning your answers, you may need to return to some of the material already studied and should also note the relevance of later topics to each of the questions. As a result, you are strongly encouraged to read through materials on all the sessions to ensure that you include all relevant material. You are also clearly advised that you cannot achieve high marks simply by relying on material from one or two sections of the course. If you missed any sessions you are encouraged to read the relevant materials from those sessions. Structure Your essay needs to have a clear structure with three main sections: Introduction, Main Body, and Conclusion. Ideally your essay will include the following: ? Title – it asks the question, describes the issue to be summarised and evaluated; ? Introduction – it outlines the main issues to be discussed and evaluated; ? Main Body – it summarises and evaluates the research results in clearly defined paragraphs which are developed around one main sub-topic; ? Conclusion – it summarises the main findings (no details or new information here) and gives a final opinion or answer to the question. 4 It should be clear to anybody reading your essay both what your conclusion is and how you have arrived at it. Essays lacking a clear structure cannot achieve a first-class grade and so you need to ensure that your essay has a clear structure with both Introduction and a Conclusion and that you answer your chosen question by means of case study analysis. (Drawing on Material from Across the Course As mentioned earlier, you are required to draw on material from across the course using material from at least three topics of the course in your answer. The course topics were designed both to fit together and to complement each other with a balance between theory and practical topics. For example, if discussing fisheries policy and the problem of over- fishing as a case study it is possible to draw on relevant material on Environmental Policy in Context and the conflict between neoliberal markets and protection of the environment, material on the public trust and common good from the Rights-based traditions in Environmental Policy topic and also material from the Lobbying for the Environment topic or The Conservation Corporation topic in respect of how various NGOs have attempted to influence fisheries policy. The topics you choose and the manner in which you integrate different aspects is up to you, but an essay that does not draw on at least three topics has not met the learning outcomes and assessment criteria and thus has not answered the question. As such, it cannot score high marks. When planning your answers, you may need to return to some of the material already studied and should also note the relevance of later topics to each of the questions. As a result, you are strongly encouraged to read through materials on all the sessions to ensure that you include all relevant material. You are also clearly advised that you cannot achieve high marks simply by relying on material from one or two sections of the course. If you missed any sessions you are encouraged to read the relevant materials from those sessions.) ALSO THESES ARE THE TOPICS THAT WERE THOUGHT THROUGH OUT THE SEMESTER THAT YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE TREE OF THEM : Environmental Citizenship This topic examines the contested notion of who is responsible for environmental justice and the extent to which it can be seen as an individual or collective responsibility. Within this topic we explore the agency of responsibility as well as how notions of autonomy and responsibility are often seen as contrasting conceptions but may in fact be complementary. Environmental Justice and Access to Justice This topic examines potentially contrasting perspectives on environmental justice considering how indigenous people often suffer disproportionately from the negative impacts of environmentally harmful activities but may also have their traditional rights upheld through exemptions in law. Environmental Justice and Access to Justice This topic examines potentially contrasting perspectives on environmental justice considering how indigenous people often suffer disproportionately from the negative impacts of environmentally harmful activities but may also have their traditional rights upheld through exemptions in law. environmental justice and access to justice In this topic we explicitly consider the notion of Environmental Racism, a discourse which simultaneously advocates for environmental justice and the elimination of racial discrimination in environmental decisions. Environmental Entrepreneurship and Advocacy: Grassroots Environmental Activism, Policy Networks and Civil Society This week’s topic examines the ‘Green Movement and considers in more detail the role of NGOs in pursuing access to environmental justice at both political and practical levels, particularly at grassroots level. Environmental Entrepreneurship and Advocacy: Grassroots Environmental Activism, Policy Networks and Civil Society Arguably many NGOs have developed to fulfil a societal need and failure in environmental governance. The classic example of this is the Love Canal Incident that spawned a grassroots or community response that eventually gave birth to the Centre for Health, Environment and Justice. Rights-Based Traditions in Environmental Policy – Ecosystems Services, the ‘Common Good’ the ‘Public Trust’ and Environmental Policy Rights-Based Traditions in Environmental Policy – Ecosystems Services, the ‘Common Good’ the ‘Public Trust’ and Environmental Policy This topic examines notions of the environmental as a public good while also considering environmental quality as a public good that must be consumed in equal amounts by us all. This approach starts from the premise that private property rights cannot be defined for environmental quality although arguably even of this were technically feasible, practically one might argue that private property rights should not be defined in respect of the environment. This being the case, the market cannot allocate rights over the environment, thus government intervention becomes necessary and one has to consider the extent to which this may be undesirable. Lobbying for the Environment: Environmental Think Tanks and the Politicisation of Environmental Protection Lobbying for the Environment: Environmental Think Tanks and the Politicisation of Environmental Protection This session introduces the concept of the specialist environmental ‘think tank’, specialist organisations that work in the area of environmental policy, sometimes in collaboration with industry and political organisations. At its most basic level, the environmental think tank provides for policy expertise in an area of environmental policy or, in respect of the larger think tanks, across a wide range of areas of environmental policy. Environmental think tanks are often (but not always) independently funded and are often self-sustaining in their funding, meaning that they are not always reliant on Government funding. However, this is not always the case and some concerns have been raised about the extent to which some think tanks are either influenced by their funding streams, or worse, are a ‘front’ for particular interests such as the oil industry or other aspects of big business. Where this is the case it may call into question the independence and validity of their research. The Conservation Corporation: The role of Major NGOs and Civil Society Organisations: Third Party Interests The Conservation Corporation: The role of Major NGOs and Civil Society Organisations: Third Party Interests This week’s topic builds on last week’s discussion of think tanks to examine the role of the major NGOs and Civil Society Organisations as significant players in the ‘Green Movement’ and considers the role of the major ‘Conservation Corporations’ in pursuing environmental justice and developing environmental policy at both political and practical levels. The session expands on the idea of collective responsibility for the environment also drawing on contract theory to explain how and why we act responsibly in relation to others. In one sense the major conservation corporations have stepped in where Governments are considered to have failed in respect of environmental policy and effective environmental protection. Rather than being the kind of grassroots single issue environmental organisations that emerge in respect of a local threat, these NGOs have a considerable voice in a wide-range of environmental topics and represent professional environmentalism. In advance of this week’s session you may find it useful to read the following: Buckingham, S. ‘The Rise of environmental politics and the environmental movement’ Chapter 3 in Buckingham, S. and Turner, M. (2011) (eds) Understanding Environmental Issues, London: Sage ‘The Global Community and Global Citizenship’ – Chapter 6 in Robin Attfield’s Environmental Ethics book which is one of the suggested course readings. In this chapter Attfield touches on the role of the major NGOs as a type of global citizen. Cleaning Up Greenwash: Corporate Environmental Responsibility and Contemporary Regulatory Policy Cleaning Up Greenwash: Corporate Environmental Responsibility and Contemporary Regulatory Policy While Corporations routinely embrace concepts of social and environmental responsibility, numerous examples exist of corporations who claim to act in a sustainable and responsible way while at the same time showing disregard for the communities in which they operate and causing considerable environmental damage. In extreme cases corporations with good written Corporate Environmental Responsibility (CER) policies continue to commit environmental crimes almost with impunity. This topic explores the issue of ‘greenwashing’ which can broadly be defined as when a corporation provides false or misleading information to present an environmentally responsible public image that may be at odds with the reality of its practices. This topic applies some of our previous discussions on environmental policy and responsibility to the actions of private business actors. It argues that responsibility for environmental damage is both a corporate and social responsibility, arguably requiring both regulatory and formal criminal justice responses to ensure corporate environmental responsibility and reparation for environmental damage. Eu Environmental Protection Policy and Environmental Rights: The Aarhus Convention Eu Environmental Protection Policy and Environmental Rights: The Aarhus Convention This topic explores the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (The Aarhus Convention). The Convention recognizes every person’s right to a healthy environment. Aarhus is based on three pillars: the right to know the right to participate the right of access to environmental justice In exploring this topic we will examine the basic principles of Aarhus and issues around environmental rights. Our case study analysis for this topic is fracking and some preliminary.

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