2011-11-09-08.50.02-am-1Editor's Note:

If man is what he eats, then there is no question that the human race today stands on the verge of radical change as our global food systems begin to confront a struggle against the most significant agro-issues of the day, some of which could not have been anticipated only a few decades ago. It is a veritable global “food fight,” and the future of global policy concerns on agriculture, trade, security, and poverty depends heavily on the outcome of this struggle.

Charting the Future of Food attempts to advance and reconcile the major conflicts, debates, and controversies that punctuate the province of trade and agriculture. The fight for food is a fight at the table between food for humans and food for machines, as eloquently noted in the food vs. fuel debate by Msangi & Ewing. In “The Local Organic Food Paradigm,” Avery & Avery note that it is also a fight between organic and genetically-engineered foods. Anderson discusses the fight for food in trade between the developed and the developing nations, highlighting the matter through the case of cotton. It is also a fight to predict changes in food production against the specter of climate change, as discussed in the Jackson article. Ultimately, this Forum attempts to play its part in the fight against time to eradicate hunger and meet the world’s energy needs in the most sustainable manner.

This Forum elucidates some of the most significant food and agricultural disputes of the twenty-first century, the potential for change, and the consequence of inaction. It seeks to implore its readers to not merely appreciate the issues at hand, but to strive to consider the prescriptions offered in each article. And through our readers, we hope to bear down on the governments and institutions that are most capable of averting a global food fight.

As the world changes around us, we hope to remain a constant and unwavering source of information and perhaps revelation, plunging into not only the significant issues of the day, but also looking forward, anticipating the great forces of change in the future.

– Aditya C. Deshmukh & Alfia A. Sadekova

Forum: The Future of Food

  • Introduction by Marc J. Cohen | Read  

New technologies are forcing rapid globalization of markets, and the agriculture industry has no choice but to adapt. There is, however, a stark disparity between developed and developing nations: researchers in developed nations are embracing a biotech and GMO revolution, while developing nations are struggling to manage unfavorable intellectual property laws and trade barriers. Biofuel production stretches agricultural resources in the North, famine cripples economies in the South, the Green Revolution saves lives in the East, and the WTO rules against governments in the West. Though policy experts participating in the current round of trade negotiations in Doha are attempting to address the challenges facing farmers, the outcome is unclear. This forum aims to explore the fate of our farms in the 21st century.

  • The Softest Subsidy by Kym Anderson and Ernesto Valenzuela | Read  
  • Food, Feed, or Fuel? by Siwa Msangi and Mandy Ewing | Read  
  • Agricultural Trade and Climate Change by Lee Ann Jackson | Read  
  • The Local Organic Food Paradigm by Alex A. Avery and Dennis T. Avery | Read  

Conflict & Security

  • Averting Catastrophe in the Middle East by Susan Braden | Read  

The current conditions in Iraq can only be remedied by peaceful partitioning of the country into three separate entities.

Future tensions may arise between Russia and China as former Soviet states in Central Asia compete with Russia to export their natural gas and oil to China.

Culture & Society

  • Substance and Vanity at the Palace: Monarchy and Royalty Beyond the Twentieth Century by Neil Blain | Read  

Royalty supersedes monarchy; the personal and economic importance of royals destroys the significance of any residual constitutional role.

  • The Catholic Church: An Underestimated and Necessary Actor in International Affairs by Jodok Troy | Read  

As one of the oldest political actors in the international system, the Catholic Church lends its stabilizing capabilities to become once more an “ethical reservoir” and peacemaker in an age of a declared and believed “clash of civilizations.”

Law & Ethics

  • Rights for Indigenous Peoples: The Struggle for Uniformity: the UN Declaration and Beyond by James C. Hopkins | Read  

The Colonial Bloc must recognize and adhere to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to ensure a proper legal status for their respective communities.

The mistreatment of individuals with mental disabilities is a persistent, global issue that must be remedied through direct legal, practical, and economic measures.

Politics & Diplomacy

  • Changing the Political Climate on Climate Change by Tom Daschle | Read  

The United States must act with urgency to lead the international response to the threat of climate change.

  • The Sarkozy Effect: France's New Presidential Dynamic by J.G. Shields | Read  

President Sarkozy is setting out to undertake much needed reforms in France, but his success will depend on factors both within and beyond his own control.

Business & Economics

  • A French Action Figure: Nicolas Sarcozy's First Months as President by Arthur Goldhammer | Read  

President Nicolas Sarkozy hopes to save the French welfare state with a relatively modest though energetically promoted package of tax, labor-market, and welfare-system reforms.

Science & Technology

  • Battling Botnets and Online Mobs: Estonia's Defense Efforts during the Internet War by Gadi Evron | Read  

Estonia’s experience shown that Internet war is a real security threat that demands increased global attention and government action.


A review of The New Turkish Republic: Turkey as a Pivotal State in the Muslim World.

A review of Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed.

View from the Ground

  • Invisible, Insecure, and Inaccessible: The Humanitarian Crisis in Chad by Stephanie Getson | Read  

The crisis in Darfur cannot be solved until the international community recognizes the crisis in its neighbor, Chad.

  • Perception and the Costs of Waiting: Transition in Cuba by John-Michael McColl | Read  

The United States must embrace an active approach to restore its relationship with Cuba ultimately to extend democracy and free markets to the Cuban population.

A Look Back

The United States cannot win the war on terror through conventional military means, but by upholding its own values until the ideology of terrorism crumbles from within.

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