This course seeks to comprehensively investigate public policy in the light of processes of globalization and privatization that have dramatically changed – and according to many diminished – the capacity of national governments to tackle poliitical problems. We start off with examining classic public policy making by the state through distinguishing different phases policy-making (agenda-setting, policy formulation, decision-making, policy implementation and policy evaluation) as well as studying alternative conceptualizations. We then examine issues in other arenas (such as the European Union, world trade, the market, citizens).

After reviewing some key analytical tools for the analysis of public policy we will explore and connect public policy and food through a series of assignments that make use of the method of problem based learning (PBL) as well as via guest-lectures and an excursion. In the second part of the course we will shift our focus toward writing a policy memo for a stakeholder in food policy, be it a company, government or NGO. in which you advise them on the best way to tackle a food related public policy problem. Students will present and discuss their ideas in feedback sessions plans and preliminary findings, allowing them to further improve their memos. Towards the end of the course we will zoom out and explore the food system as a whole and seek to identify the levers that could make it more sustainable. To make these challenges tangible, we will focus on the highly concrete substance of sugar.