Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Politics

Postgraduate Course: Global Food Security Governance (PGSP11497)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryGlobal food security is a major international challenge. It is often assumed food insecurity is caused by inadequate food supply, however, it is widely acknowledged that states, markets and institutions play vital roles in both causing and solving global food insecurity. Global food security is a growing area of interest for International Relations/International Political Economy scholars, with a central concern being to understand how power, interests and ideas shape the production, consumption and access to food on a global-scale. The aim of this course for students to develop a deep understanding of the global political contests surrounding how food security is governed. It begins by analysing the key actors, international institutions and ideas shaping the contemporary governance of global food security. It then shifts to assessing contemporary debates about the solutions and challenges to food insecurity, including competing models of food production, trade liberalization, global food crises, land grabbing and human rights. Students taking this course will come to understand the global politics of food security and critically assess the efficacy and fairness of, and possible alternatives to, current global governance arrangements and policies.
Course description Academic description: Global Food Security Governance is an optional course for MSc students. This course examines the politics of how food security is governed at the global scale. The international community has pledged to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030. Despite substantial economic growth and progress in reducing poverty across the developing world, one in nine persons worldwide is undernourished. While global food security is often treated as a technical problem to be solved by scientific innovation, it is inherently a political problem with states, international organizations, business and social movements contesting control over the production, distribution and access to food at the global level.

Course content: The course begins with an introduction to the the key actors, international institutions and ideas shaping the contemporary governance of global food security. This is followed by an examination of key topics in global food security governance, including but not limited to:
- competing models of food production;
- trade liberalization;
- global food crises;
- and grabbing, and;
- the human right to food.

Student learning experience: This is a seminar-based course. Students taking this course will come to understand the global politics of food security and critically debate the efficacy and fairness of, and possible alternatives to, current governance arrangements and policies.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the main theories, concepts and principles applied to the study of global food security governance.
  2. Analyse various forms of evidence and data to assess complex issues and make informed judgements about the efficacy and fairness of governance arrangements and policies to address global food insecurity.
  3. Apply knowledge, skills and understanding in planning and executing a significant project of research on a contemporary issue in global food security governance.
  4. Communicate, using appropriate methods, with peers and experts through oral and written participation and assessments the principal debates in global food security governance.
Reading List
1. Indicative Readings:

Clapp, J. (2015). Hunger in The Balance: The new politics of international food aid. Ithaca, Cornell University Press.

De Schutter, O. (2012). "Reshaping Global Governance: The Case of the Right to Food." Global Policy 3(4): 480-483.

Duncan, J. (2015). Global food security governance: Civil society engagement in the reformed Committee on World Food Security. London, Routledge.

Farsund, A. A., C. Daugbjerg and O. Langhelle (2015). "Food security and trade: reconciling discourses in the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Trade Organization." Food Security 7(2): 383-391.

Lang, T. and D. Barling (2012). "Food security and food sustainability: reformulating the debate." The Geographical Journal 178(4): 313-326.

Margulis, M. E. (2013). "The regime complex for food security: implications for the global hunger challenge." Global Governance 19(1): 53-67

Paarlberg, R. L. (2002). Governance and Food Security in an Age of Globalization. Washington, D.C., International Food Policy Research Institute.

Shaw, D. J. (2007). World Food Security: A History Since 1945. London, Palgrave Macmillan.

Weis, T. (2010). "The Accelerating Biophysical Contradictions of Industrial Capitalist Agriculture." Journal of Agrarian Change 10(3): 315-341.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills In alignment with the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework level 11, graduates will have the following attributes.

1. Critical thinking, analytical and reading skills will be developed by critically analysing official policy documents and engaging with a variety of academic and policy texts.

2. Advanced research skills will be developed by identifying and consulting a wide range of primary and secondary data sources in preparing the research paper.

3. Effective written and oral communication skills will be developed by completing the assessments and seminar participation

4. Student will become better global citizens by developing an advanced understanding of the key causes, challenges and possible solutions to world hunger.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Matias Margulis
Tel: (0131 6)51 1311
Course secretaryMrs Casey Behringer
Tel: (0131 6)50 2456
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information