chapter  3
23 Pages

Cheap food and conflict

WithMichael Carolan

This chapter explores the links between cheap food policies and conflict. The conflict it talks about, however, need not involve all-out civil war or an existential battle, such as the one precipitated by Nazi Germany where the very existence of numerous nation-states was on the line. The types of conflict discussed in the chapter may not be of the same magnitude as, say, either the French or Russian Revolutions, where 0.5 million and nine million lives were lost, respectively. The chapter corroborates the following hypothesis: cheap food policies increase the likelihood of inter- and intra-state conflict and thus heighten the risk of global disorder. War is only the most extreme form of conflict, and as the most extreme it is also the most expensive, which, after showing its links to cheap food policy, reveals some fundamental accounting errors in how we evaluate the costs of conventional foodscapes.