Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 3 hours / session

Course Description

This class is jointly presented by the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP), the Fletcher School of Diplomacy at Tufts University, and the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

This seminar will explore the difficulties of getting agreement on global definitions of sustainability; in particular, building international support for efforts to combat climate change created by greenhouse gas emissions, as well as other international resource management efforts.

At their core, disagreements of this kind must be addressed through multilateral negotiations. This course will focus on possible changes in the way global environmental agreements are formulated and implemented, especially on ways of shifting from the current "pollution control" approach to combating climate change to a more comprehensive strategy for taking advantage of sustainable development opportunities. The discussions will focus, in particular, on ways of shifting the global dialogue from greenhouse gas emission reduction to green technology innovation aimed at spurring economic development and enhancing fairness in the global economic system.


The class will begin with a short review of international negotiation theory. That will be followed by a section on possible strategies for supporting a shift away from the "pollution control model" of reducing the risks associated with climate change to a "sustainable development and global technology sharing model." The last third of the class will be devoted to student presentations of prescriptive research papers. Each student will be expected to prepare and present specific ideas for transforming and enhancing multilateral environmental negotiations. Enrollment will be limited to 25. DUSP and Fletcher students will be given priority.


Grading for this class will be based on the following assignments:

3 response papers @ 10 points each 30 points
Feedback essay on the Chlorine game 15 points
Short statement evaluating the Copenhagen negotiations 10 points
Outline of the final paper 10 points
Summary presentation of the final paper 15 points
Final paper 35 points

Maximum possible = 115 points:
90 to 115 = A
80 to 89 = B
70 to 79 = C
Below 70 = F