Foto: Matthias Friel
There is enough food on the planet to feed everyone, yet hunger remains widespread. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), up to 811 million people were undernourished in 2020. Why is this the case, and what do transnational and domestic politics and policies have to do with it? This course explores the politics of starvation, food sanctions, food aid, and international food security. We will examine the effectiveness of international organizations, discuss the progress made towards the world's pledge to end hunger by 2030, and discuss the interdependence of food (in)security and other policy fields. To explain and understand the politics of hunger, we will apply core concepts of political science and international relations, such as norms, regime complexity, gender, and many more. We will also address contemporary debates on GMOs and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our weekly readings and discussions will focus on questions such as: What are the causes of hunger? How are food insecurity and violent conflict associated? Is food security a human rights problem, a development problem, or a security problem? Why and how have states responded to hunger in the world? Who governs food security?
The goal of the course is to enable and encourage students to think and write analytically and/or critically on the topic of international food security and to debate in class in a concise and constructive way.
At the end of the term, students should be able
- to identify primary and secondary sources when addressing questions of food insecurity
- to design and write a critical or analytical research paper
Moodle: https://moodle2.uni-potsdam.de/course/view.php?id=29798 The password has been sent to all admitted students prior to the first session and will be shared in class as well.
The course is open to all students enrolled in a Master Programme (as listed in PULS). The course may not be taken by students enrolled in a BA programme (including Erasmus). Due to the COVID-19 related restrictions, the maximum number of students is 25. I use a waitlist "Nachrückerliste" during the first two weeks and will inform the respective students directly and immediately after admission. Please do only come to class once you have been admitted, i.e., "zugelassen" or informed by email.
The language of instruction is English.
Active and regular participation (not graded):
Students are expected to prepare the required reading and participate actively in class; Students should not miss more than two sessions to receive ECTS.
Summative assignment (graded), required for 6 ECTS:
Term paper (20-25 pages), due on March 30
Paper Proposal (1 page), due on January 13
Draft Paper for Peer Review (min. 5 pages), due on February 11
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