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The Political Economy of Arab Food Sovereignty

PDF 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.

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