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43700-01 - Lecture with practical courses: Perspectives of Economics on Sustainability 3 CP

Semester spring semester 2018
Course frequency Every spring sem.
Lecturers Vera Calenbuhr (vera.calenbuhr@unibas.ch, Assessor)
Content The lecture is offered within the scope of the trans-faculty program "Sustainable
Development (TQNE)". The program consists of 3 introductory lectures with practical course
(lecture A and B offered in fall semesters; this lectur is C and alwasy offered in spring semesters) dedicated to
conveying the foundations of sustainable development. An additional integrative seminar (D,
offered in spring semesters) engages with interdisciplinary work. The assignment and completion
of D requires the successful completion of two lectures from A, B, C.
The topic "Food and Sustainability" serves as an integration focus for the entire TQ NE and,
thus, also for this lecture.

The lecture builds on the 10 basic rules of economics (following the text book of Mankiw & Tayler) as well as models and scenarios of societal development, i.e.: Malthus; the relation between soil, income and food; the limits to growth. Moreover, the lecture covers the economic perspective of sustainable development (e.g. the 3-pillar-model, the concepts of efficiency, consistency and sufficiency. Finally, it presents challenges on the path towards sustainable development.

Numerous case studies help to provide an understanding of key issues and trade-offs:
- Industrial countries: increase of productivity through intensive agriculture vs. decrease of biodiversity and increased pressure on the environment;
-Threshold countries: the links between economic growth, increased income, - increased protein consumption (in particular increased meat consumption), increased pressure on the environment (in particular increased emission of greenhouse gases);
- Developing countries: agricultural vs. technological development paths?
- Global: who profits from fairtrade-products?
- Global: do modern financial sector products lead to more hunger?
- Global: what is the impact of foreign land acquisition (aka land grabbing) on the economic situation of the indigenous population?
- Global: what are the costs of providing clean water? Are consumers paying an appropriate price for water? Discussion of water management systems. Is there a commoditisation of the ressource water?

The lecture content also includes national and international political initiatives and scenarios conceived for facing food system challenges in the coming 20-30 years.

On top of the economic perspective, the lecture will take a systems perspective investigating the roles of system boundaries, relevant time scales, as well as the interaction of subsystems. This approach helps to better understand the basic assumptions underlying economic models.
Learning objectives The scientific field of economics analyses the allocation of resources in a society. The objectives of the course are to
a) provide the basic knowledge for understanding the food system, and
b) to discuss what a sustainable food system means,
both from an economic perspective. This includes discussing the question whether ending hunger is equivalent to achieving a sustainable food system.
Bibliography The lecture uses many online resources and original scientific literature. Hence, there is no need to acquire a text book.

Nonetheless, interesting books on the related subjects include the following:
Costanza/Cumberland/Daly/Goodland/Norgaard/Kubiszewski/Franco
. "Introduction to Ecological Economics". CRC Press (2014) (the book introduces the new perspective towards ecological economics)
N. Gregory Mankiw und Mark P. Taylor. "Economics" Cengage Learning, 2014 (3rd Edition) (economics text book)
Comments Teaching of lectures on: 02.-03.03.18; 09.-10.03.18; 23.-24.03.18; 06.-07.04.18; 20.-21.04.18; 04.-05.05.18; 25.-26.05.18 (incl. final test on Saturday); Fr 14.15 - 16.00h; Sa 11.15 - 13.00h.

Practical course
Each student has to attend four sessions of a practical course (each 90 minutes; dates
according to the announcement in the lecture itself). The groups are organized together with the enrolled students at the beginning of the teaching period.
Venue: Vesalianum, Vesalgasse 1, 2nd floor, meeting room 02.03a (exceptions will be
communicated).

Extra certificate
Students who successfully complete all four classes of the TQ NE can apply for an additional
certificate at the end of their studies (your final diploma incl. Transcript of Records must be available). Please send an email to coordination-msd@unibas.ch, with details of fullname, student number, postal address.

MSD 2017
Credit points may be transferred to the "Focal Areas of Sustainability Research" module (FASR) (to be listed in the corresponding Learning Agreement), unless you have a Bachelor Degree in Economics and Business (CP of this lecture C cannot be recognized for the MSD curriculum).

This course is offered by the trans-faculty program "Sustainable Development" (TQ NE),
Dr. Vera Calenbuhr holds a teaching assignment.

 

Language of instruction English
Use of digital media No specific media used

 

Interval irregular
Date 02.03.2018 – 26.05.2018
Time See details

Dates: 02.-03.03.18; 09.-10.03.18; 23.-24.03.18; 06.-07.04.18; 20.-21.04.18; 04.-05.05.18; 25.-26.05.18: Friday classes: 14.15 - 16.00h; Saturday classes: 11.15 - 13.00h.

Date Time Room
Friday 02.03.2018 14.15-16.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 119
Saturday 03.03.2018 11.15-13.00 Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Auditorium
Friday 09.03.2018 14.15-16.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 119
Saturday 10.03.2018 11.15-13.00 Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Auditorium
Friday 23.03.2018 14.15-16.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 119
Saturday 24.03.2018 11.15-13.00 Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Auditorium
Wednesday 28.03.2018 18.15-20.00 Vesalianum, Sitzungszimmer (O2.03A)
Wednesday 04.04.2018 18.15-20.00 Vesalianum, Sitzungszimmer (O2.03A)
Friday 06.04.2018 14.15-16.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 119
Saturday 07.04.2018 11.15-13.00 Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Auditorium
Wednesday 11.04.2018 18.15-20.00 Vesalianum, Sitzungszimmer (O2.03A)
Monday 16.04.2018 18.15-20.00 Vesalianum, Sitzungszimmer (O2.03A)
Friday 20.04.2018 14.15-16.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 119
Saturday 21.04.2018 11.15-13.00 Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Auditorium
Monday 23.04.2018 18.15-20.00 Vesalianum, Sitzungszimmer (O2.03A)
Friday 27.04.2018 14.15-16.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 119
Monday 30.04.2018 18.15-20.00 Vesalianum, Sitzungszimmer (O2.03A)
Friday 04.05.2018 14.15-16.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 119
Saturday 05.05.2018 11.15-16.00 Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Seminarraum S14 HG.32
Tuesday 22.05.2018 10.15-12.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 119
Saturday 26.05.2018 11.15-13.00 Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Auditorium
Modules Grundkurse (Transfakultäre Querschnittsprogramme im freien Kreditpunkte-Bereich)
Vertiefungsmodul Global Europe: Umwelt und Nachhaltigkeit (Master's Studies: European Global Studies)
Assessment format proof of course participation
Assessment details Regular attendance of lecture and practical course; written examination: Saturday, 26.05.17 (venue and schedule as usual).
Assessment registration/deregistration Reg./dereg.: course registr./cancel registr. via MOnA
Repeat examination no repeat examination
Scale 1-6 0,1
Repeated registration as often as necessary
Responsible faculty University of Basel
Offered by Archäologie / Humangeographie / MSD

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