Law, Development and Global Food Policy

Law, Development and Global Food Policy

Professor Amy Cohen
Spring 2016 seminar
M 5:00pm - 7:00pm in WCC Room 3038
2 classroom credits

Prerequisites: None.

Exam Type: No exam.

Debates about how food is produced and distributed are often debates about the structure of economic exchange — and thus also debates about the legal rules that govern markets. This seminar uses the provisioning of food to study the role of law in economic development. We will begin with a history of law and development that traces shifts in dominant development ideas over the twentieth century. We will then study three global shifts in the structure of agricultural production, distribution and trade that roughly parallel this historical periodization. Throughout this investigation, we will ask how law shapes food systems and facilitates their transformation and, in turn, how food law and food systems have contributed to development and, sometimes, baffled or misdirected it. We will devote the second part of the seminar to contemporary case studies that focus primarily on land, agriculture, food security, and food sovereignty. Here, we will pay particular attention to how different actors use law to challenge economic concentration and inequality in (global and local) food systems and thus to promote particular ideas of society and market reform. Students will write a research paper..

Some seats in the seminar are reserved for students who wish to develop a clinical project. Subject to my approval, clinical projects may be in a broad range of areas that engage law and development.

Subject Areas: International, Comparative & Foreign Law