Search result: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2015
|Agroecosystem Science Master|
|Major in Food and Resource Use Economics|
|Decision Making in Food Value Chains|
|751-1710-00L||Agri-Food Marketing||W+||2 credits||2G||D. Barjolle, O. Schmid|
|Abstract||This course explores how market research is used by the actors in the value chains for positioning and promotion of food (course held in english).|
|Objective||The objective of the course is to highlight how research marketing techniques can be mobilized for developing supply chains, in order to create and distribute value.|
Students will be invited to discover advanced tools in marketing research (retailer and consumer panel data analysis, Likert scales. conjoint analysis and contingent valuation...), illustrated by a set of up date case-studies presented by professional invited lectures. This approach will allow students to be informed about present discussions in the Swiss agri-food supply chains.
|Content||Some lectures are focused on methods presentation. Students then choose a mini-case, which they will carry out in groups of 5-6 students. Various issues are the key points of the mini-cases: construction of a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) for sustainability standards, ethical claims or origin-based labels; marketing and promotion of PDO-PGI products; marketing and promotion of organic products, collective promotion on Swiss products in Switzerland and abroad; produits du terroir and gastronomy; short supply chain; public procurement.|
|Lecture notes||paper copies of the presentations are distributed during the lecture.|
|752-2123-00L||Risk Awareness, Risk Acceptance and Trust||W+||3 credits||2V||M. Siegrist|
|Abstract||The course provides an overview about risk perception and acceptance of new technologies. In addition, the most important findings of the research related to decisions under uncertainty are presented.|
|Objective||Students know the most important theoretical approaches in the domains of risk perception and acceptance of new technologies. Furthermore, students understand the paradigms and the research results in the domain of decision making under uncertainty.|
|Environmental and Resource Use Economics|
|701-1653-00L||Policy and Economics of Ecosystem Services||W+||3 credits||2G||S. Andrade de Sa|
|Abstract||The course introduces the concept of ecosystem services (ES), their value for society, the causes of their degradation and potential policies to reduce degradation, from an environmental economics perspective. The main focus is thus on policy options for addressing ecosystems' degradation. The strengths and weaknesses of alternative policies are analyzed and illustrated with examples.|
|Objective||The objective is to draw on insights from environmental economics for explaining human-induced ecosystem change and for assessing the potential of policies and economic incentives as strategies to reduce ecosystem services degradation. Students understand the relevance of environmental economics in application to the sustainable provision of ecosystem services (ES). They can define different categories of ecosystem services and understand underlying sources of market failure that lead to suboptimal human decisions regarding ES provision. They understand the importance of policy choice and policy design. This incorporates both established and newer policy approaches that can be used to address market failure and move towards better outcomes from a societal point of view. They can assess strengths and weaknesses of alternative policy approaches and instruments and understand the basis for selecting among alternative instruments to address ecosystems' degradation. Students have an improved understanding of the political economy underlying the making of environmental policy. They know a variety of real-world applications of different policy approaches related to land use choices and ES in developing and developed countries. Finally, they understand approaches for assessing policy impacts.|
|Content||The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment found that 60% of the world's ecosystem services (ES) are being degraded or used unsustainably. The UN report on 'The Economics of Ecosystems Services and Biodiversity' highlighted the impacts on human well-being and the role of policy in addressing ecosystems' degradation. Evaluating changes in ES from a societal perspective first requires an assessment of the societal value of different ES and the tradeoffs between them. Second, we need to understand the drivers of human decision-making affecting ES. Examples will be provided on resource use choices in developed and developing countries. Third, an assessment of the causes of excessive ES degradation is needed. Potential causes include the presence of externalities, improperly designed property rights systems, divergence of private and social discount rates, and lack of information and knowledge. Understanding the causes helps to design policies for more sustainable outcomes. Policies include command-and-control, economic incentives (for example, eco-taxes, tradable permits, government payments for ecosystem services), and decentralized approaches (for example, voluntary agreements, eco-labeling, participatory management). Choosing an appropriate policy instrument (or a combination thereof) requires an understanding of the relative strengths and weaknesses of alternative instruments, their preconditions for success and the political economy of their implementation. Finally, assessing the actual impacts of policy once implemented requires a careful assessment of appropriate baselines.|
|Lecture notes||Lecture notes, homework exercises and readings for each class will be made available on OLAT.|
|Literature||There is no single textbook for this class. Instead, a number of articles and book chapters will be suggested for each of the topics addressed during the lecture.|
|Prerequisites / Notice||The course consists of a combination of lectures, homework assignments on real world case studies, a computer exercise, and an exam.|
A prerequisite for this course is a bachelor-level course in Environmental Economics (e.g. 751-1551-00). In particular, students are expected to be familiar with basic environmental economics' concepts such as externality, public good, market failure, opportunity cost, social optimum and market equilibrium, among others. Students with no background in environmental economics can be provided with readings but will be expected to come up to the required standards on their own, prior to starting the class. Please contact Dr. Andrade de Sá (firstname.lastname@example.org) for these.
|851-0594-02L||International Environmental Politics: Part II||W+||4 credits||2V||T. Bernauer|
|Abstract||This course focuses on a selected set of important research topics in the area of international environmental politics.|
|Objective||Become familiar with analytical approaches and research results in selected areas of political science and political economy research on international environmental politics.|
|Content||The issues covered include, for example, the relationship between poverty, economic growth and environmental quality, the question whether environmental degradation can lead to political violence (e.g. civil war), the role of environmental regulation in international trade disputes, international negotiating processes in areas such as climate change mitigation, and the role of civil society in global environmental governance. |
Prerequisites: If you did not attend the course International Environmental Politics in the autumn semester you can still attend the course International Environmental Politics: Insights from Recent Research in the spring semester. However, I suggest you do so only if you already have a fairly good knowledge of social sciences research on international environmental issues (e.g. if you have already taken one or more classes in environmental economics and/or environmental politics). Alternatively, you can watch the screencasts of the HS 2014 version of the International Environmental Politics course and complete the mandatory reading assignments for that course to acquire the necessary background for being able to keep the pace in the spring semester course: http://www.multimedia.ethz.ch/lectures/gess/2014/autumn/851-0594-00L. Login: with your nethz username and password. You should watch those podcasts and complete the reading assignments before the course starts. The slides and other teaching material for Part One are available at http://www.ib.ethz.ch/teaching (materials, login with your nethz username and password and select the appropriate items).
|Lecture notes||Slides and reading material will be available at www.ib.ethz.ch (teaching, materials). They are password protected. Your Nethz username and password are needed for login.|
|Literature||Assigned reading materials and slides will be available at www.ib.ethz.ch (teaching, materials-login, international environmental politics, part two). Log in with your nethz name and password. Logistical questions concerning access to course materials can be addressed to Thomas Bernauer at email@example.com. All assigned papers must be read ahead of the respective meeting. Each meeting consists of one part where we discuss the contents of the assigned papers, and another part where we present/discuss new/ongoing research that extends beyond the contents of the read papers. Following the course on the basis of on-line slides and papers alone is not sufficient. Physical presence in the classroom is essential. No podcasts for this course will be available. Many books and journals covering international environmental policy issues can be found at the D-GESS library at the IFW building, Haldeneggsteig 4, B-floor.|
|Prerequisites / Notice||If you did not attend 'International Environmental Politics: Part One' you can still attend Part Two. However, I suggest you do so only if you already have a fairly good knowledge of social sciences research on international environmental issues (e.g. if you have already taken one or more classes in environmental economics and/or environmental politics). Alternatively, you can watch the screencasts of the HS 2014 version of Part One and complete the mandatory reading assignments for that course to acquire the necessary background for being able to keep up in Part II: http://www.multimedia.ethz.ch/lectures/gess/2014/autumn/851-0594-00L. Login: with your nethz username and password. You should watch those podcasts and complete the reading assignments before the course starts. The slides and other teaching material for Part One are available at http://www.ib.ethz.ch/teaching (materials, login with your nethz username and password and select the appropriate items).|
|851-0705-01L||Environmental Law: Conceptions and Fields||W+||3 credits||2V||C. Jäger, A. Bühler|
|Abstract||Overview of Swiss Environmental Law. Rules and regulations, system and fields of Environmental Law with its principles and instruments, interrelations e.g. with construction and zoning law. Immission control (protection against noise, air pollution), clilmate protection, conservation of water, forest, nature and landscape, regulations on waste and contaminated sites.|
|Objective||Basic understanding of scope and function of Environmental Law. Basic knowledge of legal instruments and of interrelations between Environmental Law and other fields of the law such as planning and zoning law. The students will be able to comprehend all sides of a question and to develop a possible solution of the problem (practical training on case studies).|
|Content||Die Vorlesung gliedert sich in einzelne Teile und umfasst hauptsächlich folgende Themen: Grundkonzept des schweizerischen Umweltrechts; Rechtsquellen; Grundprinzipien; Instrumente und verfahrensrechtliche Aspekte (v.a. Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfung); Querbezüge zum Raumplanungsrecht; Immissionsschutz; Übersicht über einzelne Rechtsgebiete wie Klimaschutz, Gewässerschutz, Natur- und Landschaftsschutz, Wald, Behandlung von Abfällen. Diskussion von konkreten Fällen. Vorgesehen sind zudem zwei Gastreferate von externen Experten.|
|Lecture notes||Als Skript gilt: Heribert Rausch/Arnold Marti/Alain Griffel, Umweltrecht. Ein Lehrbuch, Schulthess Zürich 2004|
|Literature||Beatrice Wagner Pfeifer, Umweltrecht I und II, Schulthess Zürich, ab 1999|
Klaus A. Vallender/Reto Morell, Umweltrecht, Stämpfli Bern 1997
|Prerequisites / Notice||Vorausgesetzt werden allgemeine Kenntnisse des Rechts (z.B. Besuch der Vorlesungen «Rechtslehre GZ» im Frühjahrssemester oder «Grundzüge der Rechts» im Herbstsemester)|
|363-0552-00L||Economic Growth and Resource Use||W||3 credits||2G||J. Daubanes|
|Abstract||The lecture focuses on the economics of non-renewable resources and deals with the main economic issues regarding such commodities.|
|Objective||The objective of the lecture is to make students familiar with the main topics in the economics of non-renewable natural resources so that they become able to autonomously read much of the academic literature on the issue. The economics of natural resources adds an intertemporal dimension to the classical static theory. The analyses provided in the lecture will use basic dynamic optimization tools; students are also expected to develop or consolidate their related technical skills.|
|Content||The lecture focuses on the economics of non-renewable resources and deals with the main economic issues regarding such commodities. Two peculiarities of natural resources make them interesting economic objects. The intertemporal dimension of resource exploitation is absent in standard static treatments of classical economic theory. The non-renewability of natural resources further implies long-term supply limitations, unlike conventional goods that are indefinitely reproducible. Because of those peculiarities, many well-known economic results do not apply to the case of resources.|
As it is appropriate in most chapters, priority will be given to a synthetic partial equilibrium setting. Elementary knowledge of microeconomics (like what is provided by H. Varian, Intermediate Microeconomics) is considered as a prerequisite. Moreover, an introduction to standard partial equilibrium analysis will be provided at the beginning of the lecture. General equilibrium effects should be introduced as they become crucial, as will be the case in the chapters on the interplay between economic growth and resource depletion.
The questions addressed in the lecture will be the following ones:
The intertemporal theory of non-renewable resource supply; the dynamic market equilibrium allocation; the exploration and development of exploitable reserves; the heterogenous quality of resource deposits; pollution and other externalities arising from the use of fossil fuels; the exercise of market power by resource suppliers and market structures; socially optimum extraction patterns and sustainability; the taxation of non-renewable resources; the international strategic dimension of resource taxation; the uncertainty about future reserves and market conditions; economic growth, resource limitations, and the innovation process...
|Lecture notes||Lecture Notes of the course will be sent by email to officially subscribed students.|
|Literature||The main reference of the course is the set of lecture notes; students will also be encouraged to read some influential academic articles dealing with the issues under study.|
|Prerequisites / Notice||Elementary knowledge of microeconomics (like what is provided by H. Varian, Intermediate Microeconomics) is considered as a prerequisite.|
|Agricultural Trade and Policies|
|751-2402-00L||Agricultural Trade Agreements||W+||2 credits||2G||J. Niklaus|
|Abstract||The course focuses on the legal aspects of agricultural trade agreements.|
|Objective||1. The students shall be able to understand the legal framework of agricultural trade agreements.|
2. The course aims at analyzing legal, political and economic aspects of agricultural trade regulations.
3. Special emphasis is placed on the ongoing negotiations on an agricultural free trade agreement between Switzerland and the European Union.
- Overview on the international economic system
- Political and legal aspects of agricultural trade agreements
- Motivation and origin of agricultural trade agreements
- Implementation and monitoring of agricultural trade agreements
- Impact-analysis of statal, parastatal and private trade barriers
- Reduction and elimination of statal, parastatal and private trade barriers
- Case study 1: WTO Doha Round
- Case study 2: Agricultural free trade agreement Switzerland-EU
- Case study 3: Implementation of the Cassis de Dijon Principle in Switzerland
|Lecture notes||Handouts (power point slides)|
|751-1652-00L||Food Security - from the Global to the Local Dimension |
Number of participants limited to 20.
|W+||2 credits||2G||M. Sonnevelt, D. Barjolle|
|Abstract||Based on the complex nature and interactions of various driving forces such as e.g. poverty, resource scarcity, globalization and climate change, global food security depends on manifold aspects. To study food security, one must understand aspects such as the availability of, the access to and the adequate use of food as well as the stability of the economic, ecologic and political system.|
|Objective||This year, the course focus on the role of Agroecology as a concept to support food security. Agroecology, once the exclusive domain of food sovereignty and ecology movements, it has begun to be promoted enthusiastically in both developed and developing countries by non-government organizations, international development organizations and others seeking more sustainable food production and consumption systems. The course will elaborate potential and bottlenecks of the concept for global food security.|
A more detailed program will be uploaded in early 2015.
|Content||The main block of the course is a three-days workshop/seminar at the FAO headquarter in Rome during the week of 06.04.-10.04.2015 (exact dates will be announced in early 2015).|
In February and March 2015, two preparatory events (each lasting +/- two hours) will be held at ETH Zurich. Exact date and time will be announced in early 2015.
|Lecture notes||Books and Articles.|
We will compose a document of the material presented and elaborated during the workshop for distribution after the event.
|Prerequisites / Notice||The Lecture is held in English and is limited to 20 MSc-students preferably from agriculture, environment and food sciences.|
|751-2102-00L||History of Food and Agriculture||W||3 credits||2V||P. Aerni|
|Abstract||Knowledge about the history of food and agriculture is crucial to understanding the emergence of modern agriculture and public resistance to industrial farming. The lecture discusses the evolution of agriculture and its impact on social structures, human health and the environment from an anthropological, a cultural, a political and a technological point of view.|
|Objective||- to become familiar with the milestones of the history of food and agriculture|
- to understand innovation in agriculture as one of the major forces of change in the history of mankind
- to learn how perceptions, politics and policies in food and agriculture are shaped by social, technological and environmental change
- to be able to embed the current debate on the food crisis and climate change into a historical context
|Content||This lecture starts with the Neolithic revolution and its cultural and environmental impact on humankind. In this context, it will discuss the transition from hunter-and-gatherer societies to societies that rely more upon the domestication of nature (agriculture and pastoralism) (Keeley 1996, Diamond 1999). |
The various forms of domestication of plants and animals and their economic, political and environmental implications for society will be discussed using examples from different parts of the world (Stone et al.2007).
The emergence of civilization based on agrarian law will be discussed by using the example of the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire (Weber 1891, Love, 1996).
Subsequent innovations such as the three-field system in medieval times, the introduction of new plants and animals during the colonial period, and scientific and technological breakthroughs in plant breeding, agricultural practices and food preservation in the 19th century gave a major boost to agricultural productivity, food availability and agro-biodiversity. These prior developments also laid the foundation for industrial agriculture at the beginning of the 20th century (Kingsbury 2009). The global implications resulting from change in food preferences and agricultural innovation will be illustrated by using selected examples of innovations in food and agriculture (Braudel 2002, Pendergast 2010).
Public resistance to industrial agriculture manifested itself in the early 1920s with counter-movements such as biodynamic farming (Kingsbury 2009) but also with organized lobbying groups that fought against change caused by refrigeration and cheap food (Freidberg 2009). Applying science to plant and animal breeding also caused a cultural divide in biology departments at universities between those who changed nature (plant breeders) and those who wanted to preserve it (botanists, ecologists) (Anker 2001).
The period during and after the two World Wars changed the business of agriculture entirely. Food security became a matter of national security and thus justified state intervention on all levels in the production of food from farm to fork. This also helps explain why the Green Revolution was largely a public sector initiative that cared more for productivity increases on the supply side than for consumer preferences on the demand side (Aerni 2007). After the end of the Cold War, attention shifted from the supply side to the demand side and thus from food security to food safety.
Food safety concerns were largely due to distrust of industrial agriculture and this led to major policy shifts in the way agricultural subsidies and resources were allocated and how food safety was managed and monitored. While the public sector largely withdrew from investing in productivity-related agricultural research, the private sector started to invest more. This led to the growing need to engage again in public-private partnership, as had been the case in the 19th century. Despite the Agreement on Agriculture of the World Trade Organization, agricultural trade remains highly restricted and the growing vertical integration of the food supply chain tends to concentrate market power with global retailers. They have designed private standards that are meant to protect consumers from unsafe food and promote good agricultural practices abroad, as well as ethical trade. Yet, the increasing importance of south-south trade in agriculture and the global food crisis might again shift more power back to producers (Aerni 2009).
|Literature||Aerni, Philipp (2011) Food Sovereignty and its Discontents. ATDF Journal 8(1/2): 23-49.|
Aerni, Philipp (2011) Do Political Attitudes Affect Consumer Choice? Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Study with Genetically Modified Bread in Switzerland. Sustainability 3: 1555-1572.
Aerni, Philipp (2009) What is sustainable agriculture? Empirical evidence of diverging views in Switzerland and New Zealand. Ecological Economics 68(6): 1872-1882.
Aerni, Philipp. 2007. Exploring the Linkages between Commerce, Higher Education and Human Development: A Historical Review. ATDF Journal 4(2): 35-47.
Anker, Peder (2001) Imperial Ecology: Environmental Order in the British Empire, 1895-1945. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.
Braudel, Fernand (2002) The Wheels of Commerce. Civilization and Capitalism 15th -18th, Volume II. Phoenix Press, London.
Cook, Harold (2008) Matters of Exchange: Commerce, Medicine, and Science in the Dutch Golden Age. Yale University Press, New Haven.
Fagan, Brian (2001) The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History. Basic Books, New York.
Morgan, Dan (1979) Merchants of Grain: The Power and Profits of the Five Giant Companies at the Center of the World's Food Supply. iUniverse, Inc: Lincoln, NE.
Diamond, Jared (1999) Guns, Germs and Steel. Norton, New York.
Freidberg, Susanne (2009) Fresh: A Perishable History. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.
Freidberg, S. (2007). Supermarkets and imperial knowledge. Cultural Geographies, 14(3): 321-342.
Kingsbury, N. (2009) Hybrid: the History and Science of Plant Breeding. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Love, John (1986) Max Weber and the Theory of Ancient Capitalism. History and Theory 25(2): 152-172.
Stone, Linda, Lurquin, P. F. and Cavalli-Sforza (2007) Genes, Culture, and Human Evolution: A Synthesis. Blackwell, Malden, MA.
The Economist, 2008. Hunters and Gatherers: Noble or Savage, Dec. 19th.
Keeley, Lawrence, H. (1996) War Before Civilization. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Pendergast, M. (2010) Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and how it transformed our World. Basic Books, New York.
Weber, M. (1891) Die römische Agrargeschichte in ihrer Bedeutung für das Staats- und Privatrecht. Stuttgart.
|Prerequisites / Notice||The 2-hour course will be held as a series of lectures. The course materials will be available in form of an electronic Reader at the beginning of the semester.|
The class will be taught in English.
Students will be asked to give a (a) presentation (15 Minutes) or write a review paper based on a article selected from the electronic script, and (b) they will have to pass a written test at the end of the course in order to obtain 3 credit points in the ECTS System. In the final mark (a) will have a weight of 40% and (b) 60%.
|751-2700-00L||Land Markets and Land Policy||W||2 credits||2G||G. M. Giuliani|
|Abstract||In this course the students acquire knowledge on the particularities of land markets and the effects of policy interventions such as ceiling prices and land redistributions on land markets. Special emphasis is placed on the knowledge of land market structures and on the forms of land markets.|
|Objective||In this course the students acquire knowledge on the particularities of land markets and the effects of policy interventions such as ceiling prices and land redistributions on land markets. Special emphasis is placed on the knowledge of land market structures and on the forms of land markets.|
|Content||The first part of the course deals with the following topics: historical outline of land use; historical models of individual and collective land regulations; Swiss land regulations and land policies; specific theoretical aspects of agricultural land markets; empirical investigations on land property and land markets; interconnections between land policy and agricultural policy. The second part of the course focuses on land property structures in developing countries and in transition countries. After a general systematic and theoretical introduction on land policies and land reforms in these countries, case studies and topcis of current political relevance are discussed. This course provides principles contributing to the evaluation of the sustainability of land use and to the establishment of sustainable land use systems.|
|Lecture notes||Will be provided in the course.|
|Literature||Are included in the lecture notes.|
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