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March 17th, 2014: Food Security & Sociopolitical Stability with Christopher Barrett

March 17, 1-2:30pm, Dana Building 2024

Christopher Barrett will speak about his new book Food Security and Sociopolitical Stability. Global food price spikes in 2008 and 2011 coincided with political unrest in low- and middle-income countries. Angry consumers took to the streets in scores of nations. In some places, food riots turned violent, pressuring governments and in a few cases contributed to their overthrow. Foreign investors sparked a new global land rush, adding a different set of pressures. With scientists cautioning that the world has entered a new era of steadily rising food prices, perhaps aggravated by climate change, the specter of widespread food insecurity and sociopolitical instability weighs on policymakers worldwide. Governments and phil-anthropic foundations have begun redoubling agricultural research and technology transfer efforts, and the modernization of food value chains to deliver high quality food inexpensively, faster, and in greater volumes to urban consumers. But will these efforts suffice? The presentation will be followed by comments and discussion by SNRE Professor Arun Agrawal and MSU Professor David Tschirley and will close with an audience Q&A.

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