|Semester||spring semester 2023|
|Course frequency||Every spring sem.|
|Lecturers||Vera Calenbuhr (firstname.lastname@example.org, Assessor)|
|Content||The lecture is offered within the scope of the transfaculty cross section program "Sustainable Development (TQNE)". The program consists of 3 introductory lectures with practical course (lecture A and B offered in fall semesters; this lecture is C, 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, or C.
The topic "Food and Sustainability" serves as an integration focus for the entire TQ NE and, thus, also for this lecture.
The present lecture on the economic perspective of sustainability starts with an introductory section on the discipline of economics building on the 10 basic rules of economics following the text book of Mankiw & Tayler.
Moreover, the course presents and discusses various aspects of producing and consuming food including the challenge of malnutrition and hunger from the perspective of economics, i.e. understanding the driving forces that govern peoples's and socities' decisions and behaviour.
A.o., the course covers the following topics e.g.
- the relation between income and societal development; concepts of development and sustainable development and related indicators (GDP, Human Development Index); the capabilities approach;
- the economic perspective of sustainable development (e.g. the 3-pillar-model, strong and weak sustainability);
- the relation between income and nutritional state incl. hunger.
- the concepts of food security and water security
- 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);
- Low-income countries: agricultural vs. technological development paths?
- Global: Who profits from fairtrade-products? Do modern financial sector products lead to more hunger? What is the impact of foreign land acquisition (aka land grabbing) on the economic situation of the indigenous population? 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 resource 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 (nested) 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,
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:
. "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||Practical course (tutorials):
Each student has to attend four sessions of group work (each 90 minutes) under the supervision of a tutor. Group details tba at the beginning of the course.
Upon completion of the entire program "Pathways to Sustainability" and the enrolled degree program at the University of Basel students may order an additional certificate. For this purpose students send an email to email@example.com, attach their official final degree transcript (Zeugnis) and put their address. The certificate will be sent by postage.
Credit points may be transferred to the "Focal Areas of Sustainability Research" module (learning agreement), unless you have a Bachelor's Degree in Economics and Business or you have attended a class with similar content earlier (then the CP of this lecture C cannot be recognized for the MSD curriculum).
This course is offered by the program "Pathways to Sustainablilty (formerly named as TQ NE) & MSD. For details see: https://msd.unibas.ch/en/study-programs/tqne/
Dr. Vera Calenbuhr holds a teaching assignment.
|Admission requirements||Students are supposed to study at least in their third semester (bachelor level) or higher.
MSD students: recognition of CP according to information in the medium-term syllabus/list of recommended courses for the FASR module.
|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|
|Date||23.02.2023 – 07.06.2023|
Thursday, 16.15-18.00 Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)
|Thursday 23.02.2023||16.15-18.00||Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)|
|Thursday 09.03.2023||16.15-18.00||Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)|
|Thursday 16.03.2023||16.15-18.00||Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)|
|Thursday 23.03.2023||16.15-18.00||Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)|
|Thursday 30.03.2023||16.15-18.00||Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)|
|Thursday 13.04.2023||16.15-18.00||Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)|
|Thursday 20.04.2023||16.15-18.00||Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)|
|Thursday 27.04.2023||16.15-18.00||Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)|
|Thursday 04.05.2023||16.15-18.00||Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)|
|Thursday 11.05.2023||16.15-18.00||Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)|
|Thursday 25.05.2023||16.15-18.00||Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)|
|Thursday 01.06.2023||16.15-18.00||Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)|
|Monday 05.06.2023||16.15-18.00||Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)|
|Wednesday 07.06.2023||16.15-18.00||Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)|
Grundkurse (Transfakultäre Querschnittsprogramme im freien Kreditpunkte-Bereich)
Vertiefungsmodul Global Europe: Umwelt und Nachhaltigkeit (Master's Studies: European Global Studies)
|Assessment format||record of achievement|
|Assessment details||Regular attendance of lecture and practical course.
Final group presentations: 07. June 2023, at 4:15 pm, seminar room 02.02, Vesalianum.
Written examination: 05. June 2023, at 4:15 pm, seminar room 02.02, Vesalianum.
|Assessment registration/deregistration||Reg.: course registration, dereg: cancel course registration|
|Repeat examination||no repeat examination|
|Repeated registration||as often as necessary|
|Responsible faculty||University of Basel|
|Offered by||Departement Umweltwissenschaften|