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The Global Food Crisis: Law, Policy, and the Elusive Quest for Justice


Carmen G. Gonzalez


Seattle University School of Law

March 8, 2010

Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, Vol. 13, 2010

Abstract:     
The food crisis of 2008, the subsequent financial crisis, and the ongoing climate crisis have created new challenges to the attainment of global food security. This essay examines the historic and current practices that have contributed to food insecurity in developing countries, and recommends several steps that the international community might take to promote the fundamental human right to food. The essay begins by outlining the trade and aid policies that laid the foundation for food insecurity in the global South from colonialism until the early twenty-first century. It then examines the impact of the financial crisis and the climate crisis on food security – including speculative “bubbles” in agricultural commodity markets, the biofuels boom, and the growing number of “land grabs” (long-term leases or purchases of agricultural lands) by foreign investors in developing countries. The essay concludes by suggesting specific measures that the international community might take to promote food security through international law and regulation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 18

Keywords: human rights law, food security, right to food, biodiversity, WTO, trade policy, environmental law, colonialism, post-colonial studies, IMF, World Bank, international law, climate change, biofuels, agricultural law, international trade and investment law, political economy

JEL Classification: F13, F18, F54, Q17, Q56, N50, O24, K32, K33

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Date posted: March 9, 2010 ; Last revised: June 22, 2010

Suggested Citation

Gonzalez, Carmen G., The Global Food Crisis: Law, Policy, and the Elusive Quest for Justice (March 8, 2010). Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, Vol. 13, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1567231

Contact Information

Carmen G. Gonzalez (Contact Author)
Seattle University School of Law ( email )
901 12th Avenue, Sullivan Hall
P.O. Box 222000
Seattle, WA n/a 98122-1090
United States

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