Environment and Justice Program

Sweden is an exciting and progressive place to study environmental issues and policies. The concept of sustainability was embraced by government and society very early on, and today Sweden’s prominence in the European Union (EU) as a leader in sustainability is evident in many ways. If you’re interested in studying in a beautiful and sustainable place in Europe, then we have just the opportunity for you!

The Newman Institute is a Jesuit college in Scandinavia, rich in the teaching tradition of St. Ignatius of Loyola. We offer bachelor degree programs in theology and philosophy, as well as the new program in Environment and Justice. Our academic programs are small and flexible and provide a personalized learning experience.

Meet our sustainability expert

Andreas Carlgren, the Swedish Minister for the Environment between 2006 and 2011, teaches the majority of the courses in the Environment and Justice program. He joined the Newman Institute in 2012 to develop the new program. His experience from politics and his close contact with leading experts in environment and sustainability in Sweden contribute to a rich and exciting educational program.

Course offerings

All Courses in Environment and Justice Program 2017-18

Required Courses offered in Fall 2017

International Climate Change Negotiations
Why are there such great difficulties in negotiating comprehensive international agreements which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently? On the issue of climate change, what has happened globally? How have countries’ positions changed over time, and why? During this course we will follow the developments of climate change negotiations in recent times. Students of this course will learn the history of the UNFCCC’s work, in an attempt to understand the complexities of negotiation and implementation. Aspects of climate justice and global equity will be studied. The interaction between political process and scientific research will also be investigated.

Swedish Environmental Policy and Praxis
How does the Swedish government work to create sustainable and ecological development in Sweden? In this course you will explore this question through discussions about various policy tools and by examining concrete examples of action. You will also learn about the role that the state government, local municipalities and business communities play.

Human and Social Development Within Planetary Boundaries
In this course you will visit both the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Stockholm Resilience Center, which will give you an understanding of the concepts within sustainability science. You will discuss pathways for ensuring safe and just human development for present and future generations, and see trends in human-caused global environmental changes. After having completed the course, you will be able to understand key concepts in global environmental change and their theoretical underpinnings.

Elective Courses offered in Fall 2017

Theology and Film
The course is directed to those who wish to study and critically analyze modern film and the significance of religious, ethical, philosophical and other ideas in these cultural expressions. The course is based on an interplay between analysis in cinema studies and theology. Popular films and artistic films are considered. Sequences from current films will be introduced and analyzed during the course. Course participants will practice their ability to report on and analyze film content, as well as to discern and discuss their religious and worldviews.

Natural Law in Moral and Political Thought
Natural law ethics is introduced as a current within moral and political philosophy, in a historical, comparative and applied perspective. Initially, the origins of the natural law tradition are studied in the ethics of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas. The emphasis is on recent natural law theory and its areas of application in contemporary moral and political thought. The student is given the opportunity to apply theory independently, and discuss ethical problems within areas such as bioethics, social justice and the ethics of war and peace. The course also brings up alternative ethical traditions that question the idea of a natural law. Contradictions within and between ethical systems are discussed in order to enhance the student’s own capacity to evaluate and analyse moral and political arguments.

Elective Courses offered in Spring 2018

Communicating with Heart and Soul: The Craft of Moral Dramatization
“The responsibility of the writer as a moral agent,” Noam Chomsky once observed, “is to try to bring the truth about matters of human significance to an audience that can do something about them.” But what if the audience does not care about distant atrocities or gradual catastrophes? Through case studies and practical workshops, we investigate the creative methods that engaged citizens have used to communicate the ethical urgency of human predicaments.

Modern Swedish Culture through Literature
This course gives students the opportunity to read a selected number of novels, short stories and poems written by modern Swedish authors between 1900 and 2015, some of them awarded the Nobel Prize, some of them bestsellers. At the same time, students will deepen their knowledge and understanding of the cultural and social traditions associated with these works. Five modern novels, a few short stories and one long poem will be studied from historical, literary and cultural perspectives. Issues of nationalism and ethnic minorities, gender and age, love and crime, urbanism and nature, secularism and religious belief will be discussed. Excursions to libraries and museums in Stockholm (such as the Nobel Museum and the Nobel Library, Junibacken and the Swedish Institute for Children’s Books) are included.