Not available in 2022/23
GI430      Half Unit
Intersectional Inequalities in the Agro-Food System

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Anouk Patel-Campillo PAN11.01.M


This course is available on the MSc in Gender, MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation, MSc in Gender, Peace and Security and MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

In the past decades, there has been unprecedented change in the ways in which food is produced, distributed, and consumed. Scholars have grappled to understand the nature of systemic change and capture the processes and mechanisms that characterize it to shed light on the impact that agro-food system restructuring has on people and places.

This course takes an intersectional and interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of agro-food system restructuring across scale (world region, national and transnational), space (flows, circulation, (in)mobility), and place (household, farm/food processing factory, community) to highlight the ways in which transformations in/of the agro-food system reflect struggles over claims and governance mechanisms by economic actors, states, and civil society.

In the first part of the course, the students will be introduced to (macro-level) causes and effects of agro-food system restructuring. The themes covered in this part of the course include trade and the corporate food regime to illustrate the ways in which globalization, neoliberalism and institutional architectures influence the geopolitics of the agro-food system while creating or maintaining macro-level and intersectional inequalities.

The second part of the course advances a granular understanding of the lived experiences of individuals, households and communities whose re/productive activities are central to the agro-food system and whose lives and environs are most affected by these transformations. Some of the themes covered in this part of the course include household gender inequality, land grabbing, and extractivism, among others. The course will end by examining some alternative paradigms for a more just and equitable agro-food system.


This course runs in LT.  It will be delivered using both asynchronous and interactive teaching and learning elements.

There will be a reading week in week 6 in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce one 1500 word essay in the LT.

Indicative reading

  • Bradley, K. and Herrera, H., 2016. Decolonizing food justice: Naming, resisting, and researching colonizing forces in the movement. Antipode, 48(1), pp.97-114.
  • Clapp, Jennifer. 2014. "Financialization, distance and global food politics."  Journal of Peasant Studies 41 (5):797-814.
  • Desmarais, A.A., 2003. The via campesina: Peasant women at the frontiers of food sovereignty. Canadian Woman Studies, 23(1).
  • Kay, C. 2008. Reflections on Latin American Rural Studies in the Neoliberal Globalization Period: A New Rurality? Development and Change 39 (6):915-43.
  • Kenney Lazar, Miles, Diana Suhardiman, and Michael B Dwyer. 2018. "State spaces of resistance: Industrial tree plantations and the struggle for land in Laos."  Antipode 50 (5):1290-1310.
  • Korovkin, T. 1997. Indigenous Peasant Struggles and the Capitalist Modernization of Agriculture: Chimborazo 1964-1991. Latin American Perspectives 24 (3):25-49.
  • Lamb, Vanessa, Laura Schoenberger, Carl Middleton, and Borin Un. 2017. "Gendered eviction, protest and recovery: a feminist political ecology engagement with land grabbing in rural Cambodia."  The Journal of Peasant Studies 44 (6):1215-1234.
  • Lang, T., and M. Heasman. 2015. Food Wars: The Global Battle for Mouths, Minds and Markets. London: Verso.
  • McMichael, P., 2013. Food regimes and agrarian questions. Fernwood Publishing.
  • Nestle, M. (2013). Food politics: How the food industry influences nutrition and health. University of California Press.
  • Neilson, J. and Pritchard, B., 2011. Value chain struggles: Institutions and governance in the plantation districts of South India. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Park, Clara Mi Young. 2018. "“Our Lands are Our Lives”: Gendered Experiences of Resistance to Land Grabbing in Rural Cambodia."  Feminist Economics:1-24.
  • Patel, Rajeev C. 2012. "Food sovereignty: power, gender, and the right to food."  PLoS medicine 9 (6):e1001223.
  • Radel, C., Schmook, B., McEvoy, J., Mendez, C. and Petrzelka, P., 2012. Labour migration and gendered agricultural relations: The feminization of agriculture in the ejidal sector of Calakmul, Mexico. Journal of Agrarian Change, 12(1), pp.98-119.


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the ST Week 1.

Key facts

Department: Gender Studies

Total students 2021/22: Unavailable

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Controlled access 2021/22: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication