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International protection of environment

Mednarodno varstvo okolja

Course credits:

6.00 ECTS / 60 (30 hours of lectures, 30 hours of exercises, 0 hours of seminars, 0 hours other forms of work)

Course holder:

prof. dr. Zlatko Šabič


  • Asst. Prof. Danijel Crnčec
  • Asst. Prof. Matjaž Nahtigal


Elective - expert




Second semester

Study degree

1. level

    Course execution:

  • Undergraduate Programme of International Relations


Students are allowed to participate in the course provided that they have completed the enrolment procedure. A general knowledge of the basics of International Relations is desirable.

Objectives and competences

The aim of the course is to provide students with insights on processes and relations among actors in the field of international protection of environment, and thus expand their knowledge, acquired in the 1st and the 2nd year of their study, which inter alia focuses on the structure of the international community. This course provides the student with perhaps the best illustration of the contemporary structure of the international community as a conflict system, as a system of co-operation as well as system development and underdevelopment. The competences acquired by the student in this course are as follows: a) ability of written and oral expression b) ability to read and interpret primary sources (international environmental treaties, environmental resolutions and declarations adopted in international organisations and summits) c) ability to analyse the design and implementation of policies in the field of international environmental protection

Content (Syllabus outline)

The course introduces students to the ever-more pressing issue of environmental protection in the international community. In the contemporary world with no ‘world government’ international norms and standards for environmental protection are not ‘imposed from above’, rather they are based on the consensus of countries. However, to achieve a consensus on issues related to international protection of environment is very difficult to accomplish, for several reasons. Thus, the course will address questions such as: why international environmental protection? Why it is that countries find it so difficult to adhere to international environmental norms and standards? What are these standards or norms in the first place? Once adopted, are there problems with the interpretation and implementation of accepted norms and standards and if so why? What are future challenges to accomplish measures to improve international protection of the environment? The outline of the course: - Introduction: environmental issues in international relations. - The genesis of international environmental protection. - International environmental standards and norms and conflicting interests. - Implementation of agreed standards and norms – the role of various actors (states, international organisations, NGOs, private sector) - Case studies (project work with students)

Intended learning outcomes:

Basic terminology in the field of international environmental protection; the (atypical) emergence and development of policies in the field of international environmental protection; the role of different actors in the formulation of environmental policies and their ability to influence them (eg. businesses, coalitions of like-minded countries in international organizations, the phenomenon of small island states, etc.).

Learning and teaching methods:

Lectures, Individual/group work.


Written exam 50 % Project group work 50 %

Obligatory literature

1. Unit of obligatory literature:

Author: Boyle, Alan E.; Redgwell, Catherine
Title: Birnie, Boyle & Redgwell's international law and the environment »
Edition: 4th ed.
Publishing: Oxford : Oxford University Press, cop. 2021
ISBN: 978-0-19-959401-6; 0-19-876422-7; 978-0-19-876422-9
COBISS.SI-ID: 96640515 - Record/s in the catalog ODKJG »

2. Unit of obligatory literature:

Author: O'Neill, Kate
Title: The environment and international relations »
Edition: 2nd ed.
Publishing: Cambridge [etc.] : Cambridge University Press, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-107-06167-5; 978-1-107-67171-3
COBISS.SI-ID: 141897987 - Record/s in the catalog ODKJG »
All obligatory literature in catalog ODKJG »

Additional literature

1. Unit of additional literature:

Author: Jordan, Andrew (ur.); Gravey, Viviane (ur.)
Title: Environmental Policy in the EU. Actors, Institutions and Processes »
Edition: 4th ed.
Publishing: Abingdon ; New York : Routledge, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-138-39216-8; 978-1-138-39214-4; 978-0-429-40233-3
COBISS.SI-ID: 142699011 - Record/s in the catalog ODKJG »

2. Unit of additional literature:

Author: Mitchell, Ronald Bruce
Title: International politics and the environment »
Publishing: London [etc.] : Sage, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-446-20654-6
COBISS.SI-ID: 28199427 - Record/s in the catalog ODKJG »

3. Unit of additional literature:

Author: Techera, Erika (ur.)
Title: Routledge Handbook of International Environmental Law »
Edition: 2nd ed.
Publishing: Abingdon ; New York : Routledge, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-367-68503-4; 978-0-367-20924-7; 978-1-003-13782-5
COBISS.SI-ID: 143200515 - Record/s in the catalog ODKJG »
All additional literature in catalog ODKJG »

Hot to aquire credits:

For full study

  1. Multiple-choice exam
    Tutorials and individual consultations with lecturer
    Lectures and seminars
    Research paper, resarch project, seminar paper or assignments