Food security and conflict: Empirical challenges and future opportunities for research and policy making on food security and conflict
This article in the World Development journal examines the endogeneity that characterizes the coupling between food (in)security and conflict. During the previous decade, there has been an increased focus on the role of food security in processes of armed conflict, both in the academic and policy communities. While the policy community has pushed forward with new programs, the academic debate about the causal linkages between food security and conflict remains contested. The article first defines conflict and food security using the Uppsala Conflict Data Program and the FAO databases, and illustrate how intervening factors influence the relationship between conflict and food security at the micro and macro levels. Second, it provides a comprehensive review of the literature on the linkages between food security and conflict, focusing on findings that account for endogeneity issues and have a causal interpretation. Causal and substantive links exist between food security and violent conflict, spanning the individual up to global levels. Third, it highlights key data issues related to conflict and food security, and chart ways forward to collect new and better data that can help fill existing academic gaps and support policymaking. For policy makers, closing data gaps will be essential for producing effective food security and peacebuilding policies.