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41829-01 - Lecture with practical courses: Perspectives of Social Sciences on Sustainability 3 CP

Semester fall semester 2021
Course frequency Every fall sem.
Lecturers Rony Emmenegger (, Assessor)
Content The lecture is offered within the scope of the "Transfaculty cross section program Sustainable Development" (Transfakultäres Querschnittsprogramm TQ NE). The program consists of 3 introductory lectures with practical courses (lecture A + B, respectively, offered in fall semesters, C offered in spring semesters) dedicated to conveying the foundations of sustainable development. An additional integration 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.

This lecture with practical courses (lecture B) deals with the analysis of sustainability problems and problem solving from different social science perspectives. It seeks to clarify the prerequisites and conditions, as well as the possibilities and limits of dealing with sustainability problems and fostering societal transformations toward sustainability.
Food as an integration focus for the entire TQ NE is analyzed as a social, cultural and political phenomenon in relation to sustainable development: What can social sciences contribute to a differentiated understanding of food-related sustainability problems and their solutions? (e.g., land use and conflicts, common property resources; food production, food consumption and waste; food distribution and security; food governance and governing a sustainable food system etc.).

The class includes a weekly lecture and topic-specific practical courses: The lecture deals with systematic overview knowledge and a set of specific social science concepts, approaches and theories. The practical courses focus on empirical case studies and involves active student participation.
Learning objectives The lecture aims at the acquisition of the following competences:
- Professional competences: Students are familiar with selected social science perspectives (concepts, approaches and theories) relevant to the analysis of the link between sustainability and food. In addition, they have exemplary empirical knowledge on selected sustainability problems in the subject area of food and sustainability.
- Methodological competences: Students are able to develop and apply strategies and techniques for the research and structuring of information. They are also able to apply specific social science perspectives to the analysis of a sustainability problem and to reflect the knowledge gained thereby.
- Social and self-competences: Students can organize group work and organize and carry out results-oriented activities. They can argue their own positions in a small group and in front of a larger audience, defend against objections and reflect on the basis of critical objections by others.
Bibliography Made available on the ADAM workspace.
Comments The kick-off event is organized together with lecture A (41828) on Thuesday, 21.09.21 from 14.15 to 18.00h: lecture hall tba)

Practical course:
Each student has to attend 3 sessions of practical course (each 90 minutes) and 1 lesson with presentation in the course of the lecture taking place on pre-determined 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 (subject to modifications).

Extra certificate
Upon completion of the entire program (Transfaculty Cross Section Program Sustainable Development) and the enrolled degree program at the University of Basel students may order an additional certificate. For this purpose students send an email to, attach their official final degree transcript (= list of all attended courses) and put their address. The certificate will be sent by postage.

MSD 2017
Students who have already attended a similar class are supposed to contact Prof. Dr. P. Burger and determine with him a substitute. Don’t forget to fix the learning agreement (see template on the website MSD/downloads MSD 2017). Also, students with an academic background in the fields of social sciences but without the focus area in social sciences are supposed to contact Prof. Burger.

This lecture is offered by the "Transfaculty cross section program Sustainable Development" (TQ NE) and MSD. Dr. Rony Emmenegger is staff member of the Sustainability Research Group, Department of Social Sciences.


Admission requirements This class is open to students from the University of Basel who at least are studying in their third semester! Limited number of participants due to limitation of seats in the lecture hall.
Course application Course enrollment on MOnA should be completed by the beginning of the teaching period (withdrawal possible until Monday of week five).
Language of instruction English
Use of digital media No specific media used


Interval weekly
Date 21.09.2021 – 21.12.2021
Time Tuesday, 16.15-18.00 Biozentrum Neubau, Hörsaal U1.131

Kick-off (together with lecture 41828): 21.09.21: 14.15- 17.45 pm. Room tba.

Date Time Room
Tuesday 21.09.2021 16.15-18.00 Biozentrum Neubau, Hörsaal U1.131
Tuesday 28.09.2021 16.15-18.00 Biozentrum Neubau, Hörsaal U1.131
Tuesday 05.10.2021 16.15-18.00 Biozentrum Neubau, Hörsaal U1.131
Tuesday 12.10.2021 16.15-18.00 Biozentrum Neubau, Hörsaal U1.131
Tuesday 19.10.2021 16.15-18.00 Biozentrum Neubau, Hörsaal U1.131
Tuesday 26.10.2021 16.15-18.00 Biozentrum Neubau, Hörsaal U1.131
Tuesday 02.11.2021 16.15-18.00 Biozentrum Neubau, Hörsaal U1.131
Tuesday 09.11.2021 16.15-18.00 Biozentrum Neubau, Hörsaal U1.131
Tuesday 16.11.2021 16.15-18.00 Biozentrum Neubau, Hörsaal U1.131
Tuesday 23.11.2021 16.15-18.00 Biozentrum Neubau, Hörsaal U1.131
Tuesday 30.11.2021 16.15-18.00 Biozentrum Neubau, Hörsaal U1.131
Tuesday 07.12.2021 16.15-18.00 Biozentrum Neubau, Hörsaal U1.131
Tuesday 14.12.2021 16.15-18.00 Biozentrum Neubau, Hörsaal U1.131
Tuesday 21.12.2021 16.15-18.00 Biozentrum Neubau, Hörsaal U1.131
Modules Grundkurse (Transfakultäre Querschnittsprogramme im freien Kreditpunkte-Bereich)
Modul: Fields: Environment and Development (Master's degree program African Studies)
Modul: Vertiefung Landschaft und Umwelt (Bachelor's degree subject Geography)
Modul: Vertiefung Politikwissenschaft M.A. (Master's degree subject Political Science)
Module: Complementary Knowledge in Social Sciences (Master's Studies: Sustainable Development)
Module: Resources and Sustainability (Master's degree program Changing Societies: Migration – Conflicts – Resources)
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 is mandatory, oral presentation (practical course).
Final written examination (details acccording to information of R. Emmenegger): 11.01.22, during usual lecture time and lecture hall. Exam lasts 60 minutes.
Repeat examination: 08.02.22, during usual lecture time (exam lasts 60 minutes); room: tba.
Assessment registration/deregistration Reg./dereg.: course registr./cancel registr. via MOnA
Repeat examination one repetition, best attempt counts
Scale 1-6 0,1
Repeated registration as often as necessary
Responsible faculty University of Basel
Offered by Departement Umweltwissenschaften