1 x 2-hour seminar weekly
Enrolment not permitted
INTR2012 has been successfully completed
Course context
Master of Arts (International Relations); Graduate Diploma in International Relations; Graduate Certificate in International Relations; Master of Arts (International Development)
Topic description
Food Security has always been a major driver in human behaviour. Today and in the foreseeable future, Food Security issues (balanced on the uncomfortable pyramid of water crisis, population increase and climate catastrophe) are becoming increasingly unstable and have become part of strategic thinking at inter-state and intra-state levels.

Global Food Security is a dynamic, rapidly expanding field of academic inquiry, and this topic is firmly based on exploring contemporary approaches, cross-fertilized by global long-run perspectives and future thinking in aspects such as risk management and sustainability questions. It examines matters as diverse as weather and climate; food and mililtary strategy; cookery and food choice as cultural artefacts; food and state-making; land and water; imperialism; food systems; food safety; hunger; ideas controlling food distribution; the impact of war and conflict; economic imperatives; and the intricacies of food aid.

This topic takes a case-study approach to teaching and learning and insists on no previous study of International Relations or food. It will provide an introduction to social science research methods and a brief time line of major political and social events in the international life of food.
Educational aims
  • introduce students to the major themes embraced by current scholarship and strategic thinking about food security
  • explain case studies showing the interconnectedness of elements in contemporary food security debates
  • provide students with opportunities to read widely in appropriate literature
  • support students' developing scholarly communication (written and oral; formal and informal; descriptive and analytical)
  • foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and respect for learning that encourages students to develop as both independent learners and collaborative creative thinkers,
Expected learning outcomes
On successful completion of this topic, students should be able to:
  • identify significant themes in food security debates, recognise them in specific case studies, recount significant events and demonstrate familiarity with relevant scholarly perspectives
  • understand the impact of history and geography on food security and food safety
  • analyse strategic implications of food security issues
  • comprehend, critically analyse and use appropriate evidence to construct a reasoned and coherent argument and to communicate their ideas and arguments verbally and in writing