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.