Food Politics and Development (110M9)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Autumn teaching

Food is inexorably political. Food politics concerns not only the unequal organisation of food systems and distribution of resources but also the contestations over ways to address food challenges, which give rise to competing paradigms and narratives.

The module draws on distinct theoretical and empirical contributions from across disciplines and fields of study to analyse food in relation to outstanding development challenges, including inequality, exclusion and sustainability.

Following a critical approach that considers alternative narratives and framings, the module engages with a range of contemporary issues on food and development, at global and local levels and across North and South.

Topics covered include:

  • the political economy of global and local food systems
  • food corporations and value chains
  • agri-food technology and competing paradigms
  • the politics of food security and nutrition policy, globally and locally
  • political mobilisation, food riots and food rights.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay, Group presentation)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 44 hours of contact time and about 256 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.