Syllabus for Climate Change Leadership: Power, Politics and Culture

Klimatledarskap - makt, politik och kultur


  • 15 credits
  • Course code: 1MV077
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Sustainable Development G2F

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle

    • G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    • G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    • G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    • GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

    Second cycle

    • A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    • A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    • AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2016-03-10
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2022-02-10
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Autumn 2022
  • Entry requirements:

    60 credits

  • Responsible department: Department of Earth Sciences

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • critically relate to prerequisites, possibilities and limitations for a sustainable leadership within the climate field;
  • from an environmental historical perspective compare different explanatory models of how changes in the climate have influenced different societies;
  • critically review and analyse global power relations and apply an equity perspective on the climate change challenge;
  • analyse and interpret different theories of leadership, cooperation, organisation and communication for a functioning climate change leadership;
  • explain the connections between climate change, conflicts and geopolitical power relations;
  • analyse and evaluate different proposed solutions and their opportunities, limitations and risks within the climate field;
  • apply skills within leadership, cooperation, organisation and communication specifically connected to different contemporary and future scenarios within the climate field.


The course is based in an introduction to and critical discussion of basic concepts and understandings of climate changes, sustainable development, climate change leadership, science, power and politics. The scientific debate concerning climate change and different scientific disciplines perspectives on the climate change challenge are dealt with in detail together with a basic, scientific review of climate change over geological and historical time. From the initial concept orientation, follows a basic, natural science overview of climate change over geological and historical time. Furthermore, a number of environmental history case studies are dealt with that illustrate different societies interaction, adaptation and collapse in relation to climate changes and changes in the surrounding world. On the basis of the multidisciplinary understanding within natural science, environmental history and economic history established during the first half of the course, a framework and prerequisites for a functioning climate change leadership is then defined, with focus on leadership, communication, cooperation and organisation for a sustainable development and stabilised climate. The discussion is then problematised further by a number of overarching perspectives within political philosophy, ethics, equity, international agreements, conflicts, conflict solution, the matter of responsibility and ecological debt. The course closes with a number of applied case studies based on different contemporary and future scenarios as for example biofuels and rising food prices; disaster management and different methods for climate adaptation; infrastructure and restructuring of society; future conflicts and cooperations.


The teaching consists of lectures, seminars and workshops. The lectures are given by guest lecturers from various academic disciplines and relevant areas of society. Ample opportunities are provided for active student participation and critical reflection. Participation in seminars and workshops is compulsory. Non-compulsory study visits or equivalent may occur.


The student is examined through written preparation for (4 credits) and active participation in seminars and workshops (3 credits), and through written documentation (7 credits) and oral presentation (1 credit) of a project.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.

Other directives

Active participation is reassessed through a re-seminar. If a student after having been offered a re-seminar still does not meet the requirements to pass the active participation elements the examiner can choose reassessment by another method.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Autumn 2022

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

Mandatory books

  • Grint, Keith. Leadership : a very short introduction

    Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

    Find in the library


  • Thunberg, Greta The climate book

    London, UK: Allen Lane, 2022

    Find in the library


  • Digital reader

    Cemus, 2021

    Avaliable at Studium

    A reader containing 3-4 weekly articles or other learning materials will be available on Studium


Elective book 1

Chose one of the following two books

  • Jamail, Dahr The end of ice : bearing witness and finding meaning in the path of climate disruption

    Paperback edition: New York: The New Press, [2020]

    Find in the library

  • Lockwood, Devi 1,001 voices on climate change : everyday stories of flood, fire, drought, and displacement from around the world

    New York: Tiller Press, 2021

    Find in the library

  • Johnson, Ayana Elizabeth; Wilkinson, Katharine Keeble All we can save : truth, courage, and solutions for the climate crisis

    First edition: New York: One World, 2020

    Find in the library

Elective book 2

Chose one of the following two books

  • Ghosh, Amitav The great derangement : climate change and the unthinkable

    Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2016.

    Find in the library

  • Nyberg, Daniel; Wright, Christopher; Bowden, Vanessa Organising responses to climate change : the politics of mitigation, adaptation and suffering.

    Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2023

    Find in the library

  • Parenti, Christian Tropic of Chaos : Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence [Elektronisk resurs]

    Nation Books, 2011

    Find in the library

Reading list revisions