Politics & International Relations taster session

Will climate change result in conflict? Or can governments cooperate to reduce the threat to our future? Led by Professor Michael Jacobs, you’ll explore some of the most urgent political issues facing the world, and get a feel for what it’s like to study politics and international relations.

A group of climate-change protesters stand with signs and a megaphone.

Our common future: Climate justice or environmental conflict?

Record temperatures, out of control wildfires, melting glaciers, droughts, hurricanes and floods... the effects of climate change have become starkly visible. Equally urgent, though not as well publicised, is a 'nature crisis' of ocean pollution, rainforest loss and mass species extinction. Many of the worst environmental impacts are occurring in some of the poorest countries - yet they have done the least to cause them. 

Despite rising public concern, growing climate activism, and regular international negotiations, governments are still not doing enough to cut the use of fossil fuels or protect the living world. Why not? Why have all the environmental summits apparently failed? (Have they, in fact?) Do climate protests and environmental activism make a difference? What could prompt more radical change? 

In this taster session you will be given a first-hand look at the practical realities of international climate politics. Guided by Professor Michael Jacobs, one of the world's leading experts in climate change policy and a former special adviser to the last Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown, we'll discuss why international agreements are difficult to reach and implement, how protest and activism affect formal government policy making, and whether the world is headed towards more 'climate conflict' or 'environmental cooperation'. There will be plenty of time for you to ask questions and we encourage you to share your thoughts and comments throughout to stimulate discussion.

Register your interest

To hear about future sessions, register your interest and we'll send you information about upcoming dates.

Register your interest

Contact us

For informal enquiries please email tasterdays@sheffield.ac.uk

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International Merit Scholarships

We offer a generous package of financial support for international students including 75 undergraduate scholarships worth £10,000 towards the annual tuition fee and 125 postgraduate taught scholarships worth £5,000 towards the tuition fee. Applications are now open for existing offer holders.