Environmental Policy

This course is part of the programme
Bachelor's programme in Environment (first cycle)

Objectives and competences

The main objective of this course is to equip students with knowledge on how contemporary environmental policy operates. Students learn about the role of the European Union, government, market and non-governmental organisations. Students are introduced to the tools and methods for the analysis and evaluation of environmental instruments and programmes. Also, they are introduced to the challenges policymakers are facing today.
Students will:
• develop critical thinking skills regarding environmental protection;
• be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of selected environmental policies;
• by using the terminology which they have learnt in a most accurate and precise way, the students will develop their communication, writing and thinking skills in terms of problem-solving in the field of environmental policy.


Basic knowledge of political processes and basic knowledge of issues about environment protection.


Students will be able to understand the processes which shape environmental policy of the European Union and its member states, as well as processes on the wider global level. They will learn how environmental policy functions in practice and will be able to understand the division of tasks in the implementation and monitoring of the effects of European Union's environmental policies.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
Students will:
• be able to understand and analyse environment protection as a social and political process which is based on specific ethical and theoretical assumptions;
• familiarise with the theoretical basis upon which the European Union's environmental policy lies;
• be able to understand the division of tasks in implementing and monitoring the effects of environmental policies;
• be able to understand current challenges policymakers are facing today;
• be able to understand the instruments through which environmental policy operates;
• be able to perform a basic evaluation of environmental policies;
• develop skills needed to identify, select and obtain information by applying the concepts learned through analyses and group work;
• use the knowledge gained in the course in their future careers, namely in producing expert evaluations/providing expert opinions.


• BOH, T., 2005. Implementacija habitatne direktive v Sloveniji: primer vplivanja EU politik na nacionalno drzavo v procesu prilagajanja. Družboslovne razprave XXI, 27–45. E-version
• VIG and KRAFT (2010)., Environmental Policy: New Directions for the Twenty-First Century, 7th ed. CQ Press. E-version
• ELLIOTT, C., UDOVČ, A., 2005. Nature conservation and spatial planning in Slovenia: continuity in transition. Land Use Policy 22, 265–276. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2004.02.002 E-version
• FERRANTI, F., BEUNEN, R., SPERANZA, M., 2010. Natura 2000 Network: A Comparison of the Italian and Dutch Implementation Experiences. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning 12, 293–314. https://doi.org/10.1080/1523908X.2010.505417
• JORDAN, A., WURZEL, R., ZITO, A., 2000. Innovation in Environmental Governance: A Comparative Analysis of New Environmental Policy Instruments, American Political Science Association meeting, August/September 2000, Washington DC.
• GRODZINSKA-JURCZAK, M., CENT, J., 2011 Expansion of Nature Conservation Areas: Problems with Natura 2000 Implementation in Poland? Environmental Management 47, 11–27. https://doi.org /10.1007/s00267-010-9583-2 E-version
•SCHIMMELFENNIG, F., SEDELMEIER, U., 2004. Governance by conditionality: EU rule transfer to the candidate countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Journal of European Public Policy 11. https://doi.org/10.1080/1350176042000248089
•van den HOVE, S., 2000. Participatory approaches to environmental policy-making: the European Commission Climate Policy Process as a case study. Ecological Economics 33, 457–472. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0921-8009(99)00165-2 E-version
• WEALE, A., PRIDHAM, G., CINI, M., 2000. Environmental Governance in Europe: an ever closer ecological union? Oxford University Press, New York. E-version


Research seminar paper (50%), Written examination (20%), Group work (30%)

Lecturer's references

Doc. dr. Romina Rodela was habilitated in the field of Environmental management and natural resources at the University of Nova Gorica, with which she has been cooperating since 2008. She has been employed at the University of Wageningen since 2010, first as a Marie-Curie IEF fellow then with a 0.2 FTE contract, where she performs research in participatory natural resource management.

Selected references:
• BOSTRÖM, M., RABE, L., RODELA R. (under review). Environmental non-governmental organizations and transnational collaboration in two regional contexts: the Baltic Sea and Adriatic Sea Region, Journal of Environmental Politics.
WALS A., RODELA, R. (2014). Editorial: Social learning towards sustainability: promise, perspectives and problematic, NJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 69:1-3.
• RODELA, R. (2014) Social Learning, Natural Resource Management, and Participatory Activities: A reflection on construct development and testing. NJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 69: 15–22.
• RODELA, R. (2013). The social learning discourse: trends, themes and interdisciplinary influences in current research. Environmental Science and Policy. 25: 157–166.
• CUNDILL, G., RODELA, R. (2012). A review of assertions about the processes and outcomes of social learning in natural resource management. J. Environmental Management, 113:7-14.
• RODELA, R., CUNDILL, G., WALS A. (2012). Methodological underpinnings of social learning research in natural resource management. Ecological Economics 77: 16-26.
• RODELA R. (2012). Advancing the deliberative turn in natural resource management: an analysis of discourses on the use of local resources. Journal of Environmental Management 96(1):26-34.
• RODELA, R. (2011). Social learning and natural resource management: the emergence of three research perspectives. Ecology and Society 16(4): 30.
• RODELA R., UDOVČ U. (2008). Participation in nature protection - Does it benefit the local community? A Triglav National Park case study. The International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management 4:209-218.