Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL1042: Rational Choice and Environmental Problems

This module descriptor refers to the 2016/7 academic year.


NQF Level 4
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Lorien Jasny (Lecturer)





Available via distance learning


Recent human activity is causing unprecedented stress on the natural environment. This module examines the intersection between individual choice and contemporary environmental issues through the lenses of rational choice theory. Rational choice theory, simply stated, combines concepts of self-interest (broadly defined), individual preferences, and rationality to rigorously understand human behaviour. You will explore the promises and pitfalls of using rational choice theory to understand key elements of environmental politics and policy, from the social causes of environmental problems to the decision to cooperate on global environmental issues. You will be introduced to core theoretical concepts in lecture and then see these concepts in action through a series of in-class exercises and simulations. This module will also provide you with a practical tool for evaluating strategic situations by introducing you to the basics of game theory. There are no pre-requisites for this module and no prior knowledge of environmental issues, rational choice theory, or game theory is required.

Module created


Last revised