Agri-environmental Policy and Socio-Economic Values

SFS 3082

Agri-environmental Policy and Socio-Economic Values

4 credits

Through analyzing the theories and school of thoughts of the predominant economic paradigm underlying the conventional governance of the primary sector, and by looking at alternative theories and decision-making systems, this course will address innovative governance approaches designed to yield sustainable food systems. The historical development of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will be analyzed to assess the sustainability of past and current food production policies in the EU. This analysis will be propaedeutic to understand and study what new agriculture and rural development ideas could be the answers to the present conventional food systems crisis and what policy instruments could be used to achieve sustainable agriculture. New concepts and methods of assessing the socio-economic value of both agricultural positive and negative impacts on ecosystem services such as pollination, carbon storage, soil erosion and water runoff control, biodiversity conservation, maintenance of aesthetic quality of the landscape and territorial cultural identity, will be analyzed, in class and in the field, and integrated in the development of agri-environmental policy. Students will learn how policy instruments and economic tools can be used in the governance of agricultural systems to enhance the delivery of economic, social, and environmental benefits in agroecosystems. This knowledge will be useful in fully exploiting field research experiences that offer concrete examples of how theories and concepts are implemented through the EU CAP in Tuscany.

This course is interdisciplinary, integrating different disciplines such as economics, political economy, ecology, rural sociology, and the history of environmental economic thought. A background in economics is not required. The course will provide the knowledge base for developing critical capacities to gather and analyze environmental and socio-economic socioeconomic data in field research to assess sustainability of agricultural systems and related policies.

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Sustaining Traditions: Food, Farming, and Climate

15 Weeks
18 Credits
Fall 2024
Sep 1 - Dec 12
Spring 2025
Jan 27 - May 9