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Environmental governance in the Arctic: Policy processes and the economic dimension


This course gives you knowledge which can be used to analyze policy processes and policy instruments within environmental governance in Greenland and Denmark. As part of this, you will learn the basic principles and problems within environmental economics. The theoretical parts will be illustrated with case material relevant for Greenland and interactions with local stakeholders in Greenland.  PhD students as well as Master Students are welcome to join the course. 

Course participants will achieve skills to understand, discuss and synthesize theoretical perspectives that enable understanding and management of policy processes and policy instruments within environmental governance in the Arctic and, as part of this, the participants will obtain skills to understand and apply the basic principles and problems within environmental economics. After completing the course the aim is that the participant will be able to:

  • Identify and describe the difference between environmental problems and other types of political problems, and assess how different stakeholders can be classified.
  • Describe and discuss the formal decision making in EU and at national/local level in Greenland and Denmark, and assess the implications for solving environmental problems.
  • Identify and discuss problems in international decision-making and use it to analyse specific cases.
  • Synthesize an assessment framework for implementation problems and apply the framework to analyse specific implementation problems within environmental governance.
  • Describe and discuss theories about policy instruments, compare  advantages and disadvantages of different types of policy instruments and explain choice of cost-effective instruments. Assess which instruments are optimal for solving which environmental problems in given cases.
  • Describe and compare theories about determinants of target group motivation and behavior and select and apply these theories to analysis of specific  cases.
  • Describe and discuss theories about different types of power and apply them  to analyse power in specific situations within environmental governance. As part of this, assess strategies of NGO’s and other stakeholders to increase influence on environmental governance.
  • Describe and discuss the general economic problems regarding prioritisation and regulation of nature and environmental resources, including the ecological and economic principles for a sustainable management of renewable resources.
  • Describe and discuss the most common economic valuation methods for valuing natural resources and ecosystem services. Explain where these valuation methods can be applied and discuss the limitations of the methods.
  • Apply and discuss Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) and cost-effectiveness analysis for selected environmental policy initiatives and describe how policy instruments can be evaluated.


For further information, please see full course description at Aarhus University:

Course start date
Course end date
Registration deadline
Aarhus University (AU)
Field of study
Applied sciences
Course Level
Course topic
Environmental science
Governance & political science
Teaching language
Teaching place
Greenland Institute of Natural Resources
Teaching country