Essay on a Case Study

Paper details:

The assignment should be structured in two parts as follows:

A) introduce the case study by outlining the stakeholder’s response; and draw on

one or more of the key themes of the module to explain how the case illustrates

the relationship between the environment and society;

B) evaluate the stakeholder’s response by discussing its strengths and limitations,

and the practical challenges and ethical issues that it may encounter.

Parts A and B should be no more than 1500 words each, and 3000 words combined, and

must draw on academic literature alongside a selection of popular and/or grey literature.

Please see the guidance below for more details. Your case study should be an example of a stakeholder’s practical response to a specific

environmental issue or concern. When picking your case study ask yourself the following


• Who is the stakeholder I will write about in this case study?

• What is the specific environmental concern the stakeholder is responding to in the

case study?

• What form of action has the stakeholder taken in responding to this environmental


Your chosen stakeholder could be any one of the following (NB this list is not exhaustive):

• an individual consumer;

• an activist group;

• a social movement;

• a campaigning organisation;

• a think tank;

• an (international) non-governmental organisation;

• an institution;

• a local or national government;

• a business or corporation.


A practical response could be one of the following (again, this is not an exhaustive list):

• a consumer choice or pledge;

• a form of direct action or civil disobedience;

• an environmental campaign;

• a business initiative;

• a corporate strategy;

• a government policy;

• an education programme etc.

It would be a good idea to pick a case study which gives you plenty of published material

(either by the stakeholder, or in the academic or popular literature) to analyse and write

about. Consider choosing a stakeholder that has taken a defined practical response to the

environmental issue you find interesting or concerning. Please bear in mind that writing

about vague, obscure or highly localised case studies for which little material has been

published may make your task more difficult.

Please also bear in mind that the case study you choose should enable you to discuss key

themes and material from the module, and that the assignment will need to draw on the

academic literature (as well as on ‘grey literature’ from policy, media, civil society, etc).


Structuring your case study

There is not one way to write a case study, and we encourage you to be creative in the way

you approach the assignment and to choose a case study you care about. However, the

following guidance should be observed:


The word limit for the assignment is 3,000 words, so do not exceed this amount. Please aim

to balance the assignment with approximately 1,500 words for part A and 1,500 words for

part B. Part A should primarily aim to introduce and describe the case study, and draw on

material from part 1 of the module to comment on the way the relationship between

environment and society is constructed in this context. Part B should focus on evaluating the

stakeholder’s response to the environmental issue in question. It may be that you are able

to introduce some of the themes and discussion from part B (e.g. around practical and

ethical challenges and concerns) in part A if you need to.

The discussion in part A should introduce the case study in relation to (one or more of) the

key themes from the first part of the module. These themes include (but are not limited to):

the construction or framing of environmentalism and environmental issues; the multiple

dimensions of environmental crises; environmental risk; hope and opportunities for social

and environmental transformation; paradigms of value; sustainability; progress;

environmental justice; environmental responsibility. Please use your discussion of these

themes to say how you think ‘nature’, the environment’ and/or ‘environmentalism’ is being

constructed in the context of the case study you have chosen.

Part B should focus on evaluating the stakeholder’s response by discussing its strengths and

limitations, and the practical challenges and ethical issues that it may encounter. These are

the sorts of questions that we have incorporated in seminars throughout part 2 of the

module (they might consider tensions and dilemmas linked to achieving the stated aims in

practice, the effectiveness of the aims/strategy, responsibility, injustice, inequality etc.).

Part B students may also include recommendations about how the stakeholder’s response

could be improved in practice; suggest an alternative approach, and/or; explain how

challenges and/or issues might be negotiated (NB making such practical recommendations

is optional).

The assessment aims i) understand the social, cultural, economic,

political and ethical dimensions of a range of environmental issues; ii) investigate the

practical problems involved in proposing and enacting just and effective strategies for

addressing environmental issues; iii) consider the political and ethical challenges associated

with responding to environmental issues in practice.