Political Economy of Agriculture and Food

Key information

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Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Economics

Module overview

This course is intended for students with an interest in agrarian and rural development in the South. It provides a grounding in the political economy of agrarian and rural development. The course starts out by exploring the main theories of agrarian change and the role of agriculture in development. It then moves on to a set of important specific issues and discussions regarding agrarian development and its links to overall rural development. Each topic is explored both theoretically and in specific historical and geographical contexts.

Students pursuing a degree external to the Department of Economics should contact the convenor for approval to take this module.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Provide a description of the agrarian and rural development of the South
  • Outline and compare the main theories of agrarian change and apply them in a historical context
  • Clearly show the link between agrarian development and overall rural development

Method of assessment

Assignment 1: Open-ended opinion piece of 900 words, worth 30%

Assignment 2: Essay of 2100 words, worth 70%

All coursework is resubmittable.

Suggested reading

  • Kay, Cristobal (2002), ‘Why East Asia overtook Latin America: agrarian reform, industrialisation and development’, Third World Quarterly, vol 23 (6), pp. 1073-1102.
  • Bhaduri A. (2003) ‘Structural Change and Economic Development: on the relative roles of effective demand and the price mechanism in a dual economy’ in H-J. Chang (ed) Rethinking Development Economics London: Anthem Press. Chapter 10.
  • Bernstein H. (2002) ‘Land Reform: Taking a Long(er) View’ in Journal of Agrarian Change vol. 2 (4): pp. 433-463.


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