Module Information

Module Identifier
IPM5220
Module Title
The International Politics of Food and Water Security
Academic Year
2015/2016
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 1
External Examiners
  • Professor Jonathan M Joseph (Professor - University of Sheffield)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 11 x 2 Hour Seminars
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 1,000 word op ed piece  20%
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay  50%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,000 word case study report  30%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Identify some of the most important political issues of food and water security
2. Critically discuss theoretical literatures on conflicts and security as they relate to food and water
3. Analyze the role of different actors (such as states, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, civil society groups) in framing and responding to debates about food and water security
4. Identify, describe and account for failures to provide food and water security
5. Demonstrate grounded empirical knowledge of a range of specific case studies

Brief description

The module begins with two seminars introducing key aspects of the module, in particular the importance of appreciating the role of politics in constraining (or enabling) scientific advances that hold out the promise of alleviating or even eliminating scarcities of food and water. The remaining eight seminars are organized in pairs, with the first in each pair introducing an important concept and the second using a case study to illustrate the operation of the concept in a particular context.

Aims

The aim of the module is to give students on this scheme, who approach the subject from diverse backgrounds and with a range of intended careers, the opportunity to engage with key questions of politics in relation to food and water security and to gain knowledge of important concepts and practices, especially as they relate to specific countries and regions of the world.

Content

Seminar 1 Introduction: Food and Water: Where Politics and Science Meet
Seminar 2 Understanding Security, Understanding Politics
Seminar 3 Key Concept: Political Power
Seminar 4 Case study: e.g. states, societies and the international community
Seminar 5 Key Concept: Economic interests
Seminar 6 Case study: e.g. Monsanto
Seminar 7 Key Concept: Ethics and Justice
Seminar 8 Case study: e.g. Animal welfare
Seminar 9 Key Concept: Gender
Seminar 10 Case study: e.g. War refugees

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Some statistical data on food and water security will be part of the course reading material.
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to assert themselves to advantage. They will understand the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to the best advantage. They will learn to be clear and direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. Seminars will be run in groups where oral discussion will form the main medium of teaching and the emphasis throughout the module will be on student participation and communication. Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format and the presentation of work should reflect effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context of assistance from both academic staff and fellow students. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their op ed piece, essay and case study report. The need to prepare for seminars and to meet assessment deadlines will focus students' attention on the need to manage their time and resources well.
Information Technology Students will be expected to use online sources to research key elements of their work for this module, including sources needed for the preparation of seminars as well as for written assignments
Personal Development and Career planning The seminar discussions in particular will help to develop students’ verbal and presentation skills. Learning about the process of planning an essay, an op ed piece and a case study report, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the assessments and seeing them through to completion will contribute towards their portfolio of transferable skills
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module; the submission of an essay will require that the student develops independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The need to research and prepare seminar contributions will also enable the student to develop independent project skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to the problem; consider extreme cases; reason logically; engage with theory; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills The submission of an op ed piece, an essay and a case study report will reflect the independent research skills of the student. The report will require some (directed) independent research on a case study of the student’s choice. The op ed piece will require students to locate other such pieces via websites, including digital media and blogs. The need to locate appropriate research resources and write up the results will also facilitate research skills. Research preparation for seminars will also enable the student to develop independent project skills.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: - Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module - Ability to critically evaluate competing perspectives - Demonstrate subject specific research techniques - Apply a range of methodologies to complex strategic problems
Team work Seminars will include small-group discussion where students will be obliged to discuss as a group the core issues related to seminar topics. Such class room debates and discussions are a vital component of the module.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 7