Knowledge for better food systems

Food insecurity: A matter of justice, sovereignty, and survival

This book uses case studies from across the world to examine the history of food insecurity and the role that food sovereignty could play in mitigating hunger.

Publisher’s summary

This book explores the experiences, causes, and consequences of food insecurity in different geographical regions and historical eras. It highlights collective and political actions aimed at food sovereignty as solutions to mitigate suffering.

Despite global efforts to end hunger, it persists and has even increased in some regions. This book provides interdisciplinary and historical perspectives on the manifestations of food insecurity, with case studies illustrating how people coped with violations of their rights during the war-time deprivation in France; the neoliberal incursions on food supply in Turkey, Greece, and Nicaragua; as well as the consequences of radioactive contamination of farmland in Japan. This edited collection adopts an analytical approach to understanding food insecurity by examining how the historical and political situations in different countries have resulted in an unfolding dialectic of food insecurity and resistance, with the most marginalised people—immigrants, those in refugee camps, poor peasants, and so forth—consistently suffering the worst effects, yet still maintaining agency to fight back.

The book tackles food insecurity on a local as well as a global scale and will thus be useful for a broad range of audiences, including students, scholars, and the general public interested in studying food crises, globalisation, and current global issues.



Mayer, T. and Anderson, M. D. (2020). Food Insecurity: A Matter of Justice, Sovereignty, and Survival. Routledge, London and New York.

Read more here. See also the Foodsource Building Block What is food security?

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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