Research for Development and Justice

Conflict and Security

Food security, food riots, food conflict, Arab Spring

Countries and regions:
Sudan, Egypt

Food securities and social conflict

Johan Helland,Gunnar M. Sørbø (2014)

Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Report R 2014:01) 25 p.

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Following rising food prices violent ‘food riots’ took place in about 40 countries
around the globe in 2007-2008. These developments have led to renewed interest
among both scholars and policymakers in the role of food insecurity and foodprice
related grievances as catalysts for conflict.This report, which is based on a
desk review of current literature, discusses the relationship between failing food
security and social unrest. It also provides a summary of developments related to
global and local food security that have made the issue increasingly relevant and

A growing body of research makes both direct and indirect links between food
insecurity and conflict. Based on the review of literature as well as analysis of
case material from the Middle East (Arab Spring) and Sahel (Sudan), one important
conclusion to be drawn is that civil conflict is rarely grounded in single grievances
or simple causes but commonly represents the accumulation of a complex set of
interrelated factors.

Publications with same geographic focus:

Journal Article (Peer-Reviewed)

Ansar al-Sunna and Women’s Agency in Sudan: A Salafi Approach to Empowerment through Gender Segregation

Liv Tønnessen (2016) in Frontiers: A Journal of Women's Studies

Book Chapter

Women’s Rights and the Women’s Movement in Sudan (1952-2014): Focus and Strategies for Adopting Legal Feminist Action

Samia al-Nagar and Liv Tønnessen (2016) in Women Mobilizing in Africa edited by Aili Marie Tripp and Balghis Badri (Zed Press)

Publications within same theme:

Edited Book

Oil States in the New Middle East. Uprisings and stability

Kjetil Selvik, Bjorn Olav Utvik (2016) New York: Routledge (Routledge studies in Middle Eastern Democratization and Government)

Publications with similar keywords:

Journal Article (Peer-Reviewed)

The compassionate Brother: A note on Islamic food activism.

Nefissa Naguib (2013) in Food, Culture & Society vol. no. Issue 3

Doctoral Thesis

The ways of maize. Food, poverty, policy and the politics of meaning among the Chewa of Malawi

Mzamu, Jessica Jemima (2012) Dissertation for the degree of philosophiae doctor (PhD), University of Bergen. Bergen: The Univ. of Bergen 321 p.

Master's Thesis

Enough food is not enough - Litigation as a strategy to secure the right to food

Lene Chr. M. Brandt (2011) Master thesis in Comparative Politics. Bergen: University of Bergen 106 p.


Johan Helland

Social anthropologist with extensive experience from developmental research, consultancy and administrative work in Eastern and North-eastern Africa.

Gunnar M. Sørbø

Anthropologist focusing on development; conflict and peacebuilding; social impact assessment (incl. resettlement); agricultural and pastoral systems; and regional analysis and economic adaptations.

By the same author:

Afar Resilience Study
Johan Helland (2015)

Return to war in South Sudan
Gunnar M. Sørbø (2014)

Sudan Divided: Continuing Conflict in a Contested State
Gunnar M. Sørbø and Abdel Ghaffar M. Ahmed (2013)

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