Food security and conflict

Donna Mitchell, Darren Hudson, Riley Post, Patrick Bell, Ryan B. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose - The objective of this chapter is to discuss the pathways between climate, water, food, and conflict. Areas that are exhibiting food insecurity or have the potential to be food insecure are typically located in areas that experience poverty and government corruption. Higher rates of conflict occur in areas with lower caloric intake and poor nutrition. Methodology/approach - We identify key pathways between these variables and discuss intervening factors and compound effects. Findings - The pathways between water, food security, and conflict are complicated and are influenced by many intervening factors. A critical examination of the literature and an in-depth analysis of the reasons for conflict suggest that food insecurity is a multiplier, or facilitator, of the opportunities for and benefits from conflict. Practical implications - To most effectively reduce the risks of conflict, policies must adequately and simultaneously address each of the four dimensions of food security - availability, stability, utilization, and access. Careful attention to alleviating food insecurity will help alleviate some of the underlying rationale for conflict.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-225
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers of Economics and Globalization
StatePublished - 2015


  • Conflict
  • Food security
  • Water scarcity


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