Comparative Development Studies: Situating Sustainability within Development

Course Type: Lecture
Study Focus: SEG
Term: Fall

Teacher: HISANO Shuji

Course Code: JK17007

This course consists of two different, but mutually intersecting sessions.

The first session “Modernity and Crisis: Four Key Theorists” aims at providing students with an overview of the theories of ‘modernity’ that have been foundational to sociological thinking since the earliest emergence of the discipline. Max Weber, in particular, characterised modern society as efficient, productive and rational, and yet also increasingly prone to crisis and the gradual de-humanisation of its citizens. This course explores the work of four key theorists of modernity (George Ritzer, Robert Putnam, Hannah Arendt, and James C Scott) — each one of which illuminates a particular crisis of modernity.

The second session “Rural Development and Local Food in the Transition Toward a Sustainable Food System” aims at offering students a room to discuss different frameworks for the analysis of the current “turn” and “transition” in rural development and the global agro-food economy. What is wrong with the present agro-food system? What is the future food system we would like to aim at? What strategies and forms of governance may be better suited to lead us to the desirable future? The articles proposed to consideration offer different theoretical perspectives on how to direct agro-food economy toward sustainability and social justice. The course wants to stimulate students’ participation in order to develop a comparative perspective at global level on these topics.


Course Information

Module: Research 1-3
CATS Requirements: MA 1st. year or above

Day/Period: Intensive (November / January)
Location: TBA
Credits: 2


Course Goals

Students participating in this course are expected to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to analyse the complex and dynamic processes of development and modernity. It is our educational goal that participating students enhance their understanding and critical sense of reality of the ecological, economic, social and political systems from a multidimensional and multidisciplinary perspective.

Course Schedule and Evaluation

For a detailed course schedule, please visit KULASIS.

Grading will be done on the basis of attendance and class participation (60%) as well as a final presentation and/or assignment essay by each student (40%).

To JDTS/MATS students: This is course can be taken as either reduced (4 ECTS) or full seminar (8 ECTS). Please indicate your ECTS requirement to the teacher.