This course explores contemporary trends in sustainable food systems with a focus on agrarian political economy and agroecology. The course begins by building a framework of the different ways in which sustainable agriculture is practiced. We relate these contemporary practices to the capitalist transformation of agriculture in the 20th century. We then explore the politics of international assessments on food security and agriculture asking whether proposals to address food security will be successful. The last two sessions explore different pathways towards greater sustainability and interrogates whether and to what extent they may improve our food system. We examine certification schemes including organics and fair trade. We also analyze the emergence of the local food movement, development-oriented interventions such as farmer field schools, and end with a critical discussion of the food sovereignty movement.
- Professor: Brian Dowd-Uribe