International relations

Global Politics of Food

Module code: 011IRS
Level 6
30 credits in spring semester
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework, Essay

What, why and how we eat is the consequence of global forces and has mega-impacts on dynamics of world development, poverty alleviation/creation, and environmental destruction. This course provides an in-depth examination of how food systems have shaped, and have been shaped, by global capitalism.

The course examines the relationship between changing forms of food production, distribution and consumption at key junctures in modern times – the origins of capitalism, the division of the world between richer and poorer zones, the emergence of British and later American global hegemony, the contemporary corporate food regime, causes of and responses to the global food crisis, and alternative conceptions, models and practices of food production, consumption and distribution.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of key aspects of the global politics of food production, distribution and consumption.
  • Demonstrate conceptual understanding that enables the student to devise and sustain arguments upon particular aspects of current research in the global politics of food.
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge through accounting for some of the methodological difficulties in engaging in a global politics of food analysis.
  • Demonstrate an ability to use data (that may be incomplete), to make judgments, and to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution to a problem, relating the global politics of food.
  • Apply the methods and techniques that they have learned to review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding by analysing the importance of the global politics of food production,