Countries' Food Insecurity and Its Relationship with Terrorism

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New AAEA member research, released in AEPP

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Programs that aim to enhance food security through greater availability may not readily yield the intended results

Research in Food Security by Koren and Bagozzi (2016) and in the Journal of Peace Research by Butler and Gates (2012) suggest that a greater access to food is associated with increased incidence of armed conflict. An AAEA member and his team just released new research in the Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, which specifically finds a direct linkage between food insecurity and terrorism activities.

Adesoji Adelaja, the John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor in Land Policy at Michigan State University, examined the various dimensions of food insecurity that may be more closely associated with terrorism in the article “Food Insecurity and Terrorism.”

“Countries with greater food abundance, not those facing availability challenges, are more likely to experience terrorism at home. However, countries with limited food access are more likely to experience terrorism. In general, transnational terrorism seems unrelated to food insecurity. One implication is that programs that aim to enhance food security through greater availability may not readily yield the intended results.” says Adelaja. Also, Investing in food security abroad may not directly reduce our vulnerability to terrorism.

Adelaja continues, “Our results differ from some of the previous results on armed conflict, but our focus is on terrorism, a specific type of conflict.”

The article, “Food Insecurity and Terrorism,” is available now, for a limited time on the Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy website.

If you are interested in setting up an interview with the author, please contact Allison Scheetz in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices. To learn more, visit http://www.aaea.org.

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Allison Scheetz
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