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Food insecurity and domestic instability:: A review of the literature
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research. Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0064-8769
2018 (English)In: Terrorism and Political Violence, ISSN 0954-6553, E-ISSN 1556-1836, p. 1-28Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research on the relationship between food insecurity and unrest has a long history. The food price spikes in 2007–2008 and 2010–2011 coincided with demonstrations and incidents of large-scale violence, prompting renewed scholarly interest in the link between food insecurity and unrest. This paper reviews the literature, synthesises its main empirical findings and central explanations, and identifies four particular issues to consider to enhance our understanding of how food insecurity is related to unrest. First, there is a wide range of suggested theoretical mechanisms of how food insecurity is linked to unrest, but the empirical tests are akin. Second, there exist various notions of the independent variable, but there is a gap between the theoretical definition and measurement. Third, the focus is often on “food riots”, but whether rioting is the most likely response, and whether it is possible to separate between “food-related” unrest and other types of turmoil is unclear. Lastly, there is a challenge to address the endogenous nature of food insecurity and unrest. The paper adds to the literature by pointing to the theoretical mechanisms linking food insecurity to unrest, relating both to the type and degree of food insecurity, and how we understand and define unrest.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2018. p. 1-28
Keywords [en]
food insecurity, unrest, causal mechanisms, measurement, causality
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-383825DOI: 10.1080/09546553.2017.1418334OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-383825DiVA, id: diva2:1317534
Projects
Climate Anomalies and Violent Environments, grant no. 240315/F10Available from: 2019-05-23 Created: 2019-05-23 Last updated: 2019-09-02Bibliographically approved

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