The Political Economy of the Environment

1. 750-word Proposal (Not counted for the final paper) 2. 150-word Abstract (Not counted for the final paper) 3. 3000-word Research paper You will write on a topic of your choosing, but please be sure that political economy is at the heart of your argument and that you link your argument to the academic debates in global environmental politics Explain your argument and how it will address the problem you identify. Your argument should be nuanced and sophisticated (i.e., not too obvious) and specific (i.e., not an over-generalization). Your argument should not make an obvious, general claim such as “political interests matter” or “corporations are powerful.” Be sure to identify possible alternative arguments to yours and how you plan to address them. 150-word abstract on the first page: use original wording in the abstract (i.e., do not cut-and-paste from the main text). You must provide a computer word count on your cover sheet. Do not include your endnotes (or footnotes), references, or abstract in the overall word count. (All references should be cited at least once; please rely on at least 15 different references, being sure to fact-check and update all statistics you use in the essay.) Please ensure that at least half of your references in your bibliography are to political science books and journal articles (such as articles in the journals Global Environmental Politics or International Organization and books in the environmental politics series at MIT Press and Polity Press). Try to develop a robust answer by, for example, looking for variation across cases/countries and by weaving in appropriate theories and/or analytical concepts (e.g., shadows of consumption; eco-business; compromise of liberal environmentalism; transnational activist networks; norms and norm diffusion; the ‘boomerang’ strategy; ecomodernism; individualization of responsibility; environmentalism of the rich; corporatization of activism; eco-consumerism; environmental racism; ecological imperialism; environmental justice, etc.) 1. Title You should provide an accurate, concise, yet interesting title. A good title can require great effort, so please work at it. 2. Abstract (maximum of 150 words, not included in your essay word count) In original wording, the abstract should summarize as succinctly as possible your central question, overarching argument, primary evidence, theoretical framing, methodology, and conclusions. Please be sure to include your ‘why’ question (stating this as precisely and fully as possible). 3. Introduction The function of the introduction is to provide your reader with the necessary background for what is to follow. It states what you understand to be the most important aspect of the question and indicates how you are going to answer it. It is often useful to include a statement like “I argue that…” Make sure this statement explains your full argument. Do not leave the reader in suspense. Your goal is to convince the reader, so make sure the reader clearly understands from the start what you will argue. Give a clear, concise statement of the problem you are going to investigate; define the limits of the scope of your investigation; and, if you are dealing with terms that are ambiguous, define them clearly and concisely. 4. The Body of the Essay The body of the essay should develop the argument logically. It is useful to think in terms of subsections. Subsection by subsection, point by point, you build your argument, presenting and assessing the evidence from research in the area. Keep your focus on the problem. 5. Conclusion The conclusion should be precise and straightforward, tying together the various strands of your argument. Make sure your argument in the body of the essay supports your conclusions. 6. Referencing (not included in your word count) You may use either embedded citations, endnotes, or footnotes. Use a proper and consistent style for your references. Please include a list of references (in alphabetical order) at the end of the essay. I suggest using the Chicago Manual of Style.

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