751-2105-00L  Political Ecology of Food and Agriculture

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersJ. Jacobi
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentNumber of participants limited to 25
A motivational application is required:
- presenting yourself and your studies
- stating what topic in the field of Political Ecology that you are interested in
- suggesting one paper to enrich the literature list for the course

Questions regarding the application to Link.


751-2105-00 GPolitical Ecology of Food and Agriculture2 hrs
Fri14:15-16:00LFW C 4 »
J. Jacobi

Catalogue data

AbstractIn this seminar, students are introduced to the multi-disciplinary field of political ecology to investigate human-environment relationships in food and agricultural systems.
Objective- Being able to provide an overview of the multi-disciplinary field of political ecology for investigating the relationships of humans to our environment
- Learn to identify how power and interest influence social-ecological systems and to distinguish symptoms from systemic root causes
- Become enabled to analyse complex and sometimes distant human-ecology relationships choosing from a broad range of methods
ContentWe will review common narratives in agri-food systems informed by a range of different theories and assisted by different analytical tools. For this purpose, we will start from different concepts of nature, power and interests, explore different ontologies and epistemologies through a set of topics such as hunger, obesity, agrobiodiversity and seeds, forests and deforestation, climate change and food production. Students will explain one concept in each course to the groups and practice their argumentative and writing skills in a final essay, applying the acquired tools to a topic of their choice. While specific inputs from external lecturers broaden our perspective, enough time for critical discussion and reflection will be granted.
LiteratureLiteraturelist provided on Moodle when the course starts.

Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesfostered
Social CompetenciesCooperation and Teamworkfostered
Leadership and Responsibilityfostered
Self-presentation and Social Influence fostered
Sensitivity to Diversityassessed
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityassessed
Creative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsassessed
Self-awareness and Self-reflection fostered
Self-direction and Self-management fostered

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersJ. Jacobi
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.
Additional information on mode of examination- Active participation including complying with the reading assignment for every session: 30% (oral or written contributions possible)
- Session preparation (group task): 30%
- Final Essay (max. 3000 words excluding references): 40%

Learning materials

Main linkPolitical Ecology of Food and Agriculture
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


PlacesLimited number of places. Special selection procedure.
PriorityRegistration for the course unit is only possible for the primary target group
Primary target groupEnvironmental Sciences MSc (736000)
Agricultural Sciences MSc (762000)
Waiting listuntil 03.10.2023
End of registration periodRegistration only possible until 29.09.2023

Offered in

Agricultural Sciences MasterLivestockSystemsW+Information
Agricultural Sciences MasterSeminar in Plant SciencesW+Information
Agricultural Sciences MasterDevelopment and International PolicyW+Information
Agricultural Sciences MasterSustainable Agricultural DevelopmentW+Information
Food Science MasterElectivesWInformation
Environmental Sciences MasterMinor in Agricultural Plant Production and EnvironmentWInformation
Environmental Sciences MasterMinor in Environmental, Resource and Food EconomicsWInformation