• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Environmental Management & Development
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr John McCarthy
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2021
    See Future Offerings

This course is available for in-person and remote (online) learning.

This course aims to:

  • provide a comparative lens for understanding key issues and responses in agricultural policy.
  • the means for understanding the challenges of agricultural reform in the context of agrarian politics.

Spikes in food prices and fears stirred up by a changing climate combining with increasing energy and water needs have heightened concerns regarding food security and the sustainability of agriculture in developing countries.  At the same time the convergence of pressures on agriculture has affected the purchasing power and food availability for the poor.  While spikes in food prices have led to social unrest in some places, commodity booms have led to rapid agrarian changes in other areas.  In this heated climate critical policy debates have emerged regarding how agriculture might develop in a fashion that diminishes environmental and social inequalities and vulnerabilities and, under what conditions, specific policies and projects can support an agriculture-for development agenda that is more friendly to the poor and to the environment. 

International policy approaches have sought to promote agricultural development while working to reduce the risks to vulnerable populations.  For instance, there are initiatives to use legal tools to empower the poor, to develop private sector smallholder development models that contribute to poverty reduction, to develop corporate responsibility processes and agendas that rework value chains to ensure a more equitable distribution of benefits from agricultural development, and now there are new programs to support adaptation to risk from extreme climatic events.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Demonstrate competency with necessary theoretical and analytical tools required to analyze key policy problems facing the agricultural and rural sectors and the livelihoods of rural dwellers in the contemporary developing world.
  2. Practice professional skills using the key framework required for analyzing key agricultural and food security issues arising from a combination of economic, political, and natural processes.
  3. Debate key perspectives on food and agricultural policy
  4. Consider the potentialities and limits of selected widely promoted and replicated rural development policies.
  5. Discuss the implications of policies for different actors and institutions concerned with or affected by rural policy through the consideration of particular cases.
  6. Practice professional skills to present ideas clearly, and facilitate the learning of others.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Class preparation activity (15) [LO 1,2,3,6]
  2. Seminar contribution (10) [LO 1,2,6]
  3. Food security analysis (10) [LO 4,5,6]
  4. Survey of key concepts (25) [LO 4,5,6]
  5. Discussion paper (40) [LO 4,5,6]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


A standard workload for a 6 unit course is 130 hours including in-class time and independent study.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

See Wattle



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $4110
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5880
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
On Campus
5453 26 Jul 2021 02 Aug 2021 14 Sep 2021 29 Oct 2021 In Person View
5864 26 Jul 2021 02 Aug 2021 14 Sep 2021 29 Oct 2021 Online View

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