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Palgrave Macmillan

The Political Economy of Arab Food Sovereignty

ISBN 9781137339379
Publication Date June 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Since 2007–08 the global economy has faced two global food price crises, placing the issue of food security firmly back on national and international agendas. In this thought-provoking and persuasively argued book, Jane Harrigan, Professor of Economics at SOAS, examines the impact of the food price hikes on the Arab region and illuminates the linkages between the food price crisis, the Arab Spring, and the growing practice of foreign land acquisition.

This book provides a political economy analysis of the history of food security in the Arab world, including the geopolitics of food and its use as a foreign policy tool by the Western world. It contains an in-depth examination of the role played by the global food crisis of 2007–11 as a trigger factor in the Arab Spring. The responses of the governments of the Arab states to these events are presented using the concept of food sovereignty, defined by the author as power and control over food supplies in ways that often violate economic and market forces. The recent push for food sovereignty has involved both a new drive to increase domestic Arab food production and land acquisition overseas – the so-called land grab phenomenon. Both of these dynamics are analysed in depth from a political and an economic perspective, including a detailed study of Saudi Arabia.

The Political Economy of Arab Food Sovereignty presents the first comprehensive study of the interplay between food politics and power in the Arab region, making it indispensable reading for all those interested in the political economy of the Arab world and food security.

Jane Harrigan is Professor of Economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK. She has previously held positions at the University of Manchester, UK, and has worked as an Economist for the Ministry of Agriculture in Malawi. She is the author, co-author, or editor of eight books and numerous journal papers and also works as a consultant to international organisations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization and African Development Bank.

1. Introduction
2. The Food Security Status of Arab Countries
3. The Evolution of Food Security in the Arab World
4. Causes of the Global Food Crisis and its Impact on the Arab World
5. The Arab Response to the Global Food Crisis
6. Land Acquisition Overseas
7. Policies for Arab Integration into Global Food Markets and Arab Domestic Agriculture
8. Reforming Social Safety Nets
9. Conclusion


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