Block A: May 13 – May 24

 

PLAP 3160/GSVS 3160: Politics of Food

Paul Freedman, Department of Politics

– 3 credits

Core class times: 10am – 3:30pm

How and what we eat is basic to who we are as individuals, as a culture, and as a polity. This course looks at the production and consumption of food in a political context. Food politics and policies have critical implications for the environment, for public health, for political equality, and for budget priorities. This course looks at food politics through a series of “food fights.” We will examine controversies over agricultural subsidies, labeling requirements, taxation, farming practices, food safety, advertising and education. In doing so, we will explore some of the most important features of American democracy, including legislative politics, regulation, interest group activity, federalism, public opinion, political communication, and representation. Ultimately we will examine the ways in which the politics of food represents both a reflection and a distortion of fundamental democratic principles.

Sample Syllabus

SYS 3502/STS 3046/GSGS 3559: Sustainability & Human Needs

Garrick Louis, Department of  Systems Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Engineering and Society
 
– 3 credits
 

What is a sustainable quality of life or standard of living? Is it at the current level of consumption in industrialized countries like the U.S., in emerging economies like China, or in lower-income countries like Kenya? How should governments balance the need to create national income and provide for the human needs of their citizens, against the desire to conserve natural resources and the environment for future generations? Sustainable Development allows a society to satisfy its present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainability is a principle that allows societies to achieve sustainable development. Will the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals foster sustainability for all? What are effective strategies for addressing urbanization and global food security in the context of climate change?

This course will take a systematic approach to addressing these questions. It will begin with a review of system analysis; then use these fundamentals to evaluate sustainability in the context of human needs. The course will examine the technology and policy approaches to satisfying these needs, including the externalities they incur and the tradeoffs involved between social benefit and environmental impact. We will analyze the roles of government, civic society, and industry in implementing sustainability at the national level. The course will examine case studies of innovative approaches to sustainability in high- and low-income countries.

Sample Syllabus