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The Global Food Crisis

Governance Challenges and Opportunities

Edited by Jennifer Clapp & Marc J. Cohen
Subjects Political Science, Globalization, International Relations, Social Science, Development Studies, Business & Economics, Sustainable Development
Series Studies in International Governance Hide Details
Paperback : 9781554581924, 288 pages, September 2009
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554582754, 288 pages, September 2009
Ebook (PDF) : 9781554581986, 288 pages, September 2009

Table of contents

Table of Contents for The Global Food Crisis: Governance Challenges and Opportunities, edited by Jennifer Clapp and Marc J. Cohen
List of Acronyms and Abbreviations
1. The Food Crisis and Global Governance | Jennifer Clapp and Marc J. Cohen
Part 1: The Causal Factors behind the Food Crisis
2. The Blame Game: Understanding Structural Causes of the Food Crisis | Anuradha Mittal
3. The 1974 and 2008 Food Price Crisis: Déjà-Vu? | Sue Horton
4. Responding to Food Price Volatility and Vulnerability: Considering the Global Economic Context | Jennifer Clapp
5. US Biofuels Policy and the Global Food Price Crisis: A Survey of the Issues | Kimberly Ann Elliott
Part 2: Immediate Governance Challenges and Proposals: Food Aid, Trade Measures, and International Grain Reserves
6. Responding to the 2008 “Food Crisis”: Lessons from the Evolution of the Food Aid Regime | Raymond F. Hopkins
7. Preparing for an Uncertain Global Food Supply: A New Food Assistance Convention | C. Stuart Clark
8. From Food Handouts to Integrated Food Policies | Frederic Mousseau
9: The Uses of Crisis: Progress on Implementing US Local/Regional Procurement of Food Aid | Gawain Kripke
Part 3: Longer-Term Ecological Concerns and Governance Responses
10. The Impact of Climate Change on Nutrition | Cristina Tirado, Marc J. Cohen, Noora-Lisa Aberman, and Brian Thompson
11. Fossil Energy and the Biophysical Roots of the Food Crisis | Tony Weis
12. Setting the Global Dinner Table: Exploring the Limits of the Marketization of Food Security | Noah Zerbe
Part 4: Strategies to Promote Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture: The Way Ahead
13. A Stronger Global Architecture for Food and Agriculture: Some Lessons from FAO’s History and Recent Evaluation | Daniel J. Gustafson and John Markie
14. Improving the Effectiveness of US Assistance in Transforming the Food Security Outlook in Sub-Saharan Africa | Emmy Simmons and Julie Howard
15. Urban Agriculture and Changing Food Markets | Mark Redwood
16. Reorienting Local and Global Food Systems: Institutional Challenges and Policy Options from the UN Agricultural Assessment | Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
17. The Governance Challenges of Improving Global Food Security | Alex McCalla
Noora-Lisa Aberman is a program analyst and communications specialist in the Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division (formerly the Food Consumption and Nutrition Division) of the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, DC.
Jennifer Clapp is a CIGI Chair in International Governance and a professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo. Her recent books include Paths to a Green World: The Political Economy of the Global Environment (co-authored with Peter Dauvergne, MIT Press, 2005) and Corporate Power in Global Agri-Food Governance (co-edited with Doris Fuchs, MIT Press, 2009). She is also co-editor of the journal Global Environmental Politics (MIT Press).
Marc J. Cohen is a humanitarian policy researcher at Oxfam America in Washington, DC and professorial lecturer in international development at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. He previously was a research fellow in the Food Consumption and Nutrition Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and was the lead author of the 2008 IFPRI-FAO study Impact of Climate Change and Bioenergy on Nutrition.
Kimberly Ann Elliott is a senior fellow with the Peterson Institute for International Economics and the Center for Global Development. Her most recent books include Delivering on Doha: Farm Trade and the Poor, which was co-published by CGD and PIIE in 2006 and Economic Sanctions Reconsidered (with Gary Hufbauer and Jeffrey Schott, 3rd. ed., 2007).
Daniel Gustafson is the director of the FAO Liaison Office for North America. He has worked for the past thirty years on agricultural and rural development in Latin America, Africa, and Asia as well as in the United States. Previously, he was program director of the International Development Management Center at the University of Maryland.
Raymond Hopkins has taught at Swarthmore College since 1967. He is the author or co-author of six books and over sixty articles. He has been a consultant to the State Department, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Food Programme, the Agency for International Development, the Canadian International Development Association, the International Food Policy Research Institute, and the World Bank.
Sue Horton is a professor of Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. She has worked in over twenty developing countries and has consulted for the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, several UN agencies, and the International Development Research Centre. She served as the associate dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science, chair of the Department of Social Science and interim dean at the University of Toronto at Scarborough, and as vice-president academic at Laurier.
Julie Howard is executive director of the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, an independent nonprofit coalition dedicated to increasing the level and effectiveness of US assistance and private investment in Africa through research, dialogue, and advocacy. She also serves as an adjunct assistant professor of development at Michigan State University.
Marcia Ishii-Eitema is a senior scientist at Pesticide Action Network North America and director of PANNA’s Sustainable Solutions Program. She previously directed PANNA’s World Bank Accountability program and was a lead author of the UN-led International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). Prior to joining PANNA in 1996, she worked in Asia and Africa facilitating farmer-NGO collaborations on sustainable agriculture.
Gawain Kripke is the director of policy and research for Oxfam America, based in Washington, DC. Prior to this position, he served as a senior policy advisor on Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign. He is author of numerous opinion pieces and briefing papers on trade and development issues. Before to joining Oxfam, he served as director of economic programs for the environmental organization Friends of the Earth.
John Markie is an independent consultant. Previously he held positions with the United Nations Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the United Nations Evaluation Group.
Alex McCalla is professor emeritus of economics at the University of California, Davis, where he served as dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, associate director of the California Agricultural Experiment Station, and founding dean of the Graduate School of Management. He also directed the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department at the World Bank, chaired the Technical Advisory Committee of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, and was a founding member and co-convenor of the International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
Anuradha Mittal is executive director of the Oakland Institute, a progressive policy think-tank she founded in Oakland, California in 2004. She is an expert on trade, development, human rights, and agriculture issues. Mittal is the author and editor of numerous articles and books including America Needs Human Rights and The Future in the Balance: Essays on Globalization and Resistance. Previously, she was co-director of Food First Institute for Food and Development Policy.
Frederic Mousseau is a senior fellow at the Oakland Institute and a food security consultant who works with international relief agencies including Action Against Hunger, Doctors Without Borders and Oxfam International. He is author of Food Aid or Food Sovereignty? Ending World Hunger in Our Time, and his work has involved the design of food security interventions in a number of countries.
Mark Redwood is program leader of the Urban Poverty and Environment section of the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa, Canada. He has published numerous articles on wastewater use for agriculture and his most recent book is Agriculture in Urban Planning: Generating Livelihood and Food Security (IDRC 2008).
Emmy Simmons is an independent consultant on international development issues. She is co-chair of the Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability at the U.S. National Academies of Science and leads a Roundtable working group on Partnerships for Sustainability. Previously, she had a long career and held a number of positions at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), including assistant administrator for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade.
Cristina Tirado is an independent consultant on environment, food, climate change, and health policy issues for the UN, governmental, and non-governmental international organizations and universities. She participated in the first international European Commission/World Health Organization (WHO) research project on Climate Change and Adaptation Strategies for Human Health in Europe. She has also advised the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the International Food Policy Research Institute.
Brian Thompson is a senior nutrition officer in the Nutrition and Consumer Protection Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, based in Rome, Italy.
Tony Weis is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. He is author of The Global Food Economy: The Battle for the Future of Farming (Zed Books, 2007) as well as numerous articles on the global food system, agriculture and environment.
Noah Zerbe is an assistant professor of politics at Humboldt State University, California. He is the author of Agricultural Biotechnology Reconsidered: Western Narratives, African Alternatives (Africa World Press, 2004) as well asnumerous articles on the political economy of agricultural biotechnology.


The global food crisis is a stark reminder of the fragility of the global food system. The Global Food Crisis: Governance Challenges and Opportunities captures the debate about how to go forward and examines the implications of the crisis for food security in the world’s poorest countries, both for the global environment and for the global rules and institutions that govern food and agriculture.
In this volume, policy-makers and scholars assess the causes and consequences of the most recent food price volatility and examine the associated governance challenges and opportunities, including short-term emergency responses, the ecological dimensions of the crisis, and the longer-term goal of building sustainable global food systems. The recommendations include vastly increasing public investment in small-farm agriculture; reforming global food aid and food research institutions; establishing fairer international agricultural trade rules; promoting sustainable agricultural methods; placing agriculture higher on the post-Kyoto climate change agenda; revamping biofuel policies; and enhancing international agricultural policy-making.
Co-published with the Centre for International Governance Innovation


A reader looking for a coherent set of governance principles and strategies to guide us through the food crisis will be disappointed, but the book is packed with plenty of suggestions that a reader can hoose from in deciding where to begin. This speaks to the vastness of the problem that faces the world today; it is multifaceted and intractable, with long- and short-term causes, each of which requires an adequate response. Clapp and Cohen's volume does the important job of illuminating much of the structure of this vast problem, with a few specific proposals—such as urban agriculture, reforming the Food Aid Convention, reforming U.S. biofuel policy—sprinkled in. Most importantly, the book highlights the deeper instabilities of our food system at a time when some may be lulled by the end of the 2008 crisis, with prices returning to reasonable levels for the time being. Clapp and Cohen emphasize the urgent need to begin addressing the structure of our global food system if we are to prevent another crisis and ensure food security for developing countries in the 21st century.

- Lisa Guo and David Rojas, Yale Human Rights and Development L.J., Volume 13, 2010 October

By focusing on issues which have been addressed insufficiently in the major international food and agricultural institutions [this book makes] a compelling case for establishing a democratic system of global governance which would ensure food security for all.

- D.J. Shaw, Development Policy Review, 29 (2), 2011, 2011 March

[The] sixteen chapters [are] grouped loosely into sections on causes, immediate governance challenges and proposed solutions, longer-term solutions and problems, and strategies to promote a future sustainable food system.... [B]y including 2008 data and analysis, it is a timely addition to a collection on global food systems and security...a good complement to single-authored books on the food crisis.

- J.M. Deutsch, CUNY Kingsborough Community College, CHOICE, April 2010, 2010 April

The Global Food Crisis amasses a nice set of thoughtful papers by respected authorities. Collectively, they offer useful insights on the genesis and implications of the global food crisis that began in late 2006 and exploded on the world stage in 2008. This book especially highlights underlying governance questions that are fundamental but far too often overlooked.

- Christopher B. Barrett, Director, African Food Security and Natural Resources Management Program, Cornell University, 2009 September