ENVIRON 216S: Environment and Conflict: The Role of the Environment in Conflict and Peacebuilding


Reader requirements: professional experience in environmental policy and politics.


Course Information

Instructor: Prof. Erika Weinthal

Environmental and natural resources as a source of conflict and/or peacebuilding between and within nations and states. Analysis of the role of the environment in the conflict cycle and international security. Topics include refugees, climate change, water, and infectious disease. Particular focus on post-conflict and rebuilding in war-torn societies. Examination of the role of international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and emerging standards for environmental management. Examples drawn from conflicts such as Rwanda, Israel/Palestine, Nepal, Sierra Leone and others.


Student Writing Assignment

What are students writing? Policy Memo on Conflict Issue.
For whom? Government employees, Military, Intelligence, Environmental Consultants, Policymakers.
Where would such writing typically be found? Global Governance, Geopolitics.
Why would someone usually read it? To learn about the scientific and/or policy implications for particular conflict cases or situations of contemporary relevance for environmental policy decisions.


Examples of Readers


Student – Reader Interactions

Intro meeting: no later than March 1st

First Paper

  • Draft to Reader by March 1st; arrange conversation by March 7th
  • Final due March 10th

Second Paper:

  • Draft to Reader by April 15th; arrange conversation by April 22nd (earlier if you want feedback in time for April 21st presentation date)
  • Final due April 26

Link to Syllabus

ENV 216 – Environment conflict peacebuilding syllabus spring 2016


Feedback response questions:

  1. Does the argument of the paper follow logically or are there places where I get lost?
  2. Is each part explained with evidence or is there more needed? Is that evidence used well to build up the argument?
  3. Where does the paper lack cohesiveness, and where is there good cohesiveness?