Since governments first decided to negotiate a stand-alone trade agreement on agriculture, as part of the Uruguay Round of trade talks between 1986-1994, food security has been a topic of contentious debate for trade officials. Millions of livelihoods in developing countries are tied up in primary commodity production for export markets. After decades of neglect however, public and private investment is pouring into food production in developing countries, while food aid has significantly declined as a share of total food exchanges.
How might we characterize the changes in how food security is understood over the past decade? Specifically, where does trade fit in this evolving understanding of the concept? In 2006, FAO outlined four dimensions to food security: access, adequacy, utilization and stability (UN FAO, 2006).
Drawing from the food sovereignty movement, how does stability link to questions of power and voice in the governance of food security strategies? And learning from behavioural economics and psychology, what does our understanding of decision-making in complex systems suggest about how food security might best be governed, in particular as a challenge with high stakes and facing increasing uncertainty?
Through the lens of food security resilience, sophia explores the tensions that have arisen between trade rules and food security policies and analyze the competing demands emerging from the linked but distinct political economies of global, regional and national institutions that decide trade and food security policies.