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Engaging critically with environmental governance practices

This course introduces students to environmental governance, theoretically and in practice. The course is divided into three modules. In the first module students are introduced to social science theories of relevance for studying environmental governance, in the second module students get to carry out a small research project. The students are introduced to qualitative methods for data collection and analysis and, in a group, get to plan and perform a small study of a case of environmental governance. The data collection for the study is performed during a mandatory study trip with overnight stay(s). In the third module the students present their work to practitioners through a report and a final workshop.

Information from the course leader

Dear students,

we look forward to engaging critically in discussions and practices around environmental governance with you!

This course includes a mandatory field trip with overnight stay for two nights scheduled to 24-26 april. The field trip is a great adventure and learning experience and has been much appreciated by students.

The majority of the cost for the field trip will be covered by the course.

Importantly, it will not be possible to compensate for a missed field trip with other course activities, therefore, make sure that you can participate in the field trip when signing up. Do not hesitate to reach out if you want to take the course but think you will have problems joining the field trip, and we can see if we together can figure out a solution, or if you have other questions:

We are also interested to know if you have a driver's license and would be comfortable driving one of the rented cars during the field trip. Please send an email to about this

Looking forward to meeting you in the course, Klara, Malte and Alejandra

Course evaluation

The course evaluation is not yet activated

The course evaluation is open between 2024-05-26 and 2024-06-16

Additional course evaluations for MX0157

Academic year 2022/2023

Engaging critically with environmental governance practices (MX0157-40121)

2023-03-22 - 2023-06-04

Syllabus and other information

Litterature list

Bacchi, C. L. (2009). Analysing policy: what's the problem represented to be? Pearson Australia. Introduction and chapter 1 (pages 1-24).

Bäckman, M., Pettersson, K., & Westberg, L. (2024). Tracing sustainability meanings in Rosendal: Interrogating an unjust urban sustainability discourse and introducing alternative perspectives. Local Environment, 0(0), 1–18.

Bäckman, M. (2023). (Un)sustainable everyday practices sociomateriality shaping sustainability in an urban district. Journal of Consumer Culture, 0(0).

Boström, M., Uggla, Y. & Hansson, V. (2018). Environmental representatives: whom, what, and how are they representing?, Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 20(1), 114–127.

Evans, J. & Thomas, C. (2012) Environmental Governance. Routledge. Ch. 1 Introduction.

G. C. S. Kanarp & Lotten Westberg (2023) Adapting climate change – how government authorities in Sweden make sense of adaptation through a network practice, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2023.2171278

Hysing, Erik (2009) From Government to Governance? A Comparison of Environmental Governing in Swedish Forestry and Transport, Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions 22(4): 647–672.

Jacobson, K. (2013). From Betterment to Bt maize. Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae. « Discourse, power and ciritique » (pages 61-64), and « Critical discourse analysis » (pages 85-88)

Larsen, R. K., Raitio, K., Stinnerbom, M., & Wik-Karlsson, J. (2017). Sami-state collaboration in the governance of cumulative effects assessment: A critical action research approach. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 64, 67–76. (Relevant for the lecture on Environmental governance and indigenous rights)

Lemos, M. C., & Agrawal, A. (2006). Environmental Governance. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 31(1), 297–325.

Lidskog, R., & Sundqvist, G. (2018). Environmental Expertise. In Boström, M. & Davidson, D.J. (Eds.), *Environment and Society: Concepts and Challenges *(pp. 167–186). Springer.

Nicolini, D. (2017). Practice Theory as a package of Theory, Method and Vocabulary: Affordances and Limitations. In Jonas, M., Littig, B., & Wroblewski, A. (Eds.), Methodological reflections on practice oriented theories, pp. 19–34. Springer.

O’Neill, J. (2001). Representing People, Representing Nature, Representing the World. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space. 19(4), 483–500.

Sarkki, A. L., Kaisa Raitio, Bruce C. Forbes, Kristina Labba, Mia Landauer, Camilla Risvoll, Simo. (2022). Unpacking reindeer husbandry governance in Sweden, Norway and Finland: A political discursive perspective. In Reindeer Husbandry and Global Environmental Change. Routledge. (Relevant for the lecture From Research to Practice)

Webb, J., & Tarleton, B. (2018). *Getting things changed: Social practices booklet. *Bristol. Retrieved from: * *

Supplementary readings:

Ansell, C. & Torfing, J. (Eds) (2016) Handbook on Theories of Governance, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

Arts, B., Behagel, J., Turnhout, E., de Koning, J., & van Bommel, S. (2014). A practice based approach to Forest governance. Forest Policy and Economics, 14: 4–11.

Bertolini L, Laws D, Higgins M, et al. (2010) Reflection-in-action, still engaging the professional? Planning Theory & Practice, 11(4), 597–619. (Relevant for lecture From Research to Practice)

Beuger, C. (2014). Pathways to practice: praxiography and international politics. European Political Science Review, 6(1), 383–406.

Bowen, Glenn A. (2006). Grounded theory and sensitizing concepts. International journal of qualitative methods 5(3), 12-23.

Connelly S, Richardson, T., & Miles, T. (2006). Situated legitimacy: Deliberative arenas and the new rural governance. Journal of Rural Studies 22(3), 267–277.

Crang, M., & Cook, I. (2007). Doing ethnographies. Sage. In particular: section 1 getting ready (pp 15–35); section 2 constructing ethnographic information, chapter 5: interviewing (pp 57–81).

Feldman, M.S., & Orlikowski, W.J. (2011). Theorizing Practice and Practicing Theory. Organization Science, 22(5), 1240–1253.

Fischer, A. (2021, 21 April). The struggle over sustainability: On the co-construction of meaning in environmental governance. In: Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Föreläsningar av nya professorer 2020-2021 [Video].

Fischer, A., Spekkink, W., Polzin, C., Díaz-Ayude, A., Brizi, A., Macsinga, I. (2018). Social representations of governance for change towards sustainability: perspectives of sustainability advocates. Environmental Politics, 27(4), 621-643.

Guasti, P. & Geissel, B. (2019) Saward’s Concept of the Representative Claim Revisited: An Empirical Perspective. Politics and Governance, 7(3), 98–111 (just focus on the application part, no need to read the contextual part of the paper)

Harvard Sociology (n.d.) Strategies for qualitative Interviews. 4p. Retrieved from:

Hausknost, Daniel (2020). The environmental state and the glass ceiling of transformation. Environmental Politics 29(1): 17-37.

Joosse, S., Powell, S., Bergeå, H., Böhm, S., Calderón, C., Caselunghe, E., Fischer, A., Grubbström, A., Hallgren, L., Holmgren, S., Löf, A., Nordström Källström, H., Raitio, K., Senecah, S., Söderlund Kanarp, C., von Essen, E., Westberg, L., & Westin, M. (2020). Critical, Engaged and Change-oriented Scholarship in Environmental Communication. Six Methodological Dilemmas to Think with. Environmental Communication, 14(6), 758-771.

Jørgensen, Marianne W., and Louise J. Phillips. (2002). Discourse analysis as theory and method. Sage, chapter 1 introduction

Moran, L., & Rau, H. 2014. Mapping divergent concepts of sustainability: lay knowledge, local practices and environmental governance. Local Environment, 21(3), 334–360

Pickering, Jonathan, Bäckstrand, Karin & Schlosberg, David (2020). Between environmental and ecological democracy: theory and practice at the democracy environment nexus, Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning 22(1): 1-15.

Shove, E., Pantzar, M., & Watson, M. (2012). The Dynamics of Social Practice: Everyday Life and how it Changes. Sage.

Smith TSJ. (2020). Policy, polycentrism, and practice: Governance imaginaries in sustainability transitions. Area. 52: 187–195.

Van der Molen, F. (2018). How knowledge enables governance: The coproduction of environmental governance capacity. *Environmental Science and Policy, *87, 18–25.

Westberg, L., Waldenström, C. (2016). How can we ever create participation when we are the ones who decide? On natural resource management practice and its readiness for change. Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, 19(6), 654-667.

Westin, M. (2019). Rethinking power in participatory planning: towards reflective practice. Doctoral thesis. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala. Chapter 2.3, p.30–33. (Relevant for lecture From Research to Practice)

Wysocki, J. (2012). The environment has no standing in environmental governance. Organization & Environment, 25(1), 25-38.

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes The course is offered as a programme course: EnvEuro - European Master in Environmental Science Environmental Communication and Management - Master's Programme Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 38060 SEK Cycle: Master’s level (A1N)
Subject: Environmental Science
Course code: MX0157 Application code: SLU-40155 Location: Uppsala Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of Urban and Rural Development Pace: 100%