The political economy of food systems

This presentation was prepared for MPH students and deals with the political economy of food systems globally and the implications for population health.  After a brief overview of global nutrition we explore the determinants of malnutrition in terms of three 'choices': agro-technology choices, land use choices, and consumption choices.  These choices might be assumed to lie with the farmer or the consumer but our purpose is to locate such choices in the power structures and dynamics of global food systems.  We then seek to locate global food systems within a more general description of the structures and dynamics of the global economy. We use the concept of 'food regimes' (Friedman and McMichael) to frame this exercise. 

This presentation was last edited in October 2017. 


  • Rosario’s story: locating personal experience in political and economic context. ViewOnline / Download (thanks to Prof Delen De La Paz of the University of the Philippines for this presentation)
  • The political economy of food systems (Viewonline / Download (26MB) / Handout)

Global Health Watch is a useful source for further reading on the political economy of health: 

Vol 5 is shortly to be released. It will be only available in Print (from Zed Books) for the first six months or so and then published in open PDF. Each volume starts with an overview of the PE of Health and then goes on to look at different facets of health care and social determinants.  Well worth reading.