Alexander Gard-Murray

Spring 2021

Gov 94CP: Political Economy of the Environment

This course will apply the tools of political economy to the study of environmental policymaking, both in the United States and around the world. How are different interests represented in the creation and implementation of environmental policy? What makes some countries more active on environmental issues? When do businesses choose to support environmental action? Why do some kinds of environmental problems seem easier to solve than others? We will study these questions with a range of contemporary and historical case studies, drawing on both the academic literature and accounts from activists, lobbyists, and policymakers.

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Fall 2020

Gov 94GM: Politics of Climate Change

This course will explore the political problems involved in mitigating and adapting to global climate change. We will draw on both the empirical and normative political literatures, as well as climate science and economics, to approach key questions about climate politics. What do we owe to the future and to people elsewhere? What are the costs of different policy options, and how should they be distributed? How have different governments responded, and what factors shape their responses? What role do international treaties, social movements, and public opinion play? And what can or should be done to change our current trajectory?

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Gov 93C: Public Policy Practicum (Environmental Track)

This course provides students with an opportunity to conduct hands-on environmental policy research. At its heart is a semester-long policy analysis project designed and produced by the class as a whole. This semester you will be working on a commission from the National Resources Defense Council, investigating the relationships between electrification, energy efficiency, and affordable housing. Besides making your own contribution to knowledge in this area, you will also learn about policy analysis and writing, along with the politics of environmental policymaking.

The class is the product of a collaboration between the Government Department and the Kennedy School's Institute of Politics (IOP). The IOP Policy Program has a proud tradition of student-led research. This course continues that tradition, while also incorporating elements of a traditional class. Because the research is led by the students themselves, every participant is expect to actively contribute throughout the semester. Success requires both independence (to do your own self-directed research) and collaboration (to work with your classmates to produce a cohesive final paper).

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