Sustainable diets and state policy: Balancing the promotion of sustainable diets against individual and group freedoms

Lead supervisor: Dr Alasdair Cochrane, Politics
Co-supervisor(s): Dr Chris Bennett, Philosophy

Deadline: Thursday 23 February 2017

Applications for this project have now closed.

Project description

There is growing consensus that the increasing adoption of the ‘Western’ diet across the world raises serious ethical concerns.  The huge expansion in the global consumption of meat, eggs and dairy has been facilitated by massive increases in intensive forms of animal production, which cause serious environmental problems, as well as other ethical concerns relating to: animal welfare, human health, food security, cultural integrity and individual livelihoods.

However, while these ethical problems are well-established, this PhD project is devoted to the more neglected political question of what can legitimately be done about them.  If the spread of the Western diet is to be slowed and reversed, how might that legitimately be done, both at the domestic and international level?  Fundamentally, the project asks how the promotion of ‘sustainable diets’ ought to be balanced against individual and group freedom.

This PhD is concerned with marrying debates about sustainable diets with debates relating to the legitimate scope of political action. It will do so by focusing its analysis around two broad areas of enquiry: the domestic and the international:

1. The Legitimate Scope of Domestic Dietary Policy:

2. The Legitimate Scope of International Dietary Policy:

Keywords: food ethics, political philosophy, political theory, ethics, sustainability, diet

Subject areas: Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations, Law

Funding notes

This four-year studentship will be fully funded at Home/EU or international rates. Support for travel and consumables (RTSG) will also be made available at standard rate of £2,627 per annum, with an additional one-off allowance of £1,000 for a computer in the first year.  Students will receive an annual stipend of £17,336.