The Study of Environment and Sustainability

… a core topic in Environment and Sustainability and Atlas 105

Topic description

This topic employs concepts in political science, economics, and policy analysis and applies them to the field of environmental policy. Students learn about different potential sources of market failures that can lead to harmful environmental outcomes. Students also learn about the different policy instruments that are available to policymakers in their efforts to produce socially desirable environmental and economic outcomes.

Topic learning outcome

Upon completing this topic the student will understand the most important common reasons why governments sometimes intervene in markets in order to protect the natural environment. Students will understand the common sources of market failures that can lead to environmental harm and understand the advantages and disadvantages of various policy instruments that are sometimes used to mitigate those harms, and will understand the terms listed below.

Core concepts associated with this topic [DRAFT]
Sustainable Development

Environmental Governance

Atlas resource pages associated with this topic


Open access readings for 8 hours of preparation

The Atlas pages for the concept entries noted above.


Recommended readings in MPP and MPA courses 


Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 8 March 2019.

Image: University of Northern Colorado, at, accessed 8 March 2019.