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Food Security

Food Security

Bryan L. McDonald

ISBN: 978-0-745-64807-1

Dec 2010, Polity

200 pages

In Stock



Throughout history, human societies have struggled to ensure that all people have access to sufficient food to lead active and healthy lives. Despite great global effort, events of the early 21st century clearly demonstrate that food remains a pressing challenge which has significant implications for security. In this book, Bryan McDonald explores how processes of globalization and global change have reshaped food systems in ways that have significant impacts for the national security of states and the human of communities and individuals. Over the past few decades, local, regional, and national food systems have increasingly become intertwined in an emerging global food network. This complex web of relations includes the production, harvest, processing, transport, and consumption of food. While this global food network provides new opportunities for improving health and well-being, it also gives rise to new sources of security threats and vulnerabilities.

This detailed and comprehensive introduction to the major issues impacting global food security will be essential reading for students and scholars in security studies, international politics, and environmental studies.


Introduction: Twenty-first Century Challenges to Food Security.

1. Food Security and the Global Food System.

2. From Local to Global: Shifts in World Food Systems.

3. Global Trends Impacting Food Security.

4. Ensuring Proper Nutrition: The Challenge of Malnutrition in an Era of Global Change.

5. Managing Global Environmental Change: The Environmental Impacts of Agriculture and Food Production.

6. Optimizing Food Safety: Threats to Health and Food Security from Disease, Contamination and Biological Weapons.

Conclusion: Sustainable Food Security.



"Extremely well organized and provides numerous examples of causes and consequences of food insecurity without casting value judgements. McDonald does a nice job of defining his terms and setting limits for the scope of his discussion."

"A succinct and accessible overview of an issue rising ever further up the global political agenda."
International Affairs

"In this crisply written, insightful book, McDonald brings our notions of security up to date by demonstrating how current global food systems undermine the world's ability to provide sufficient, safe, and nutritious food for everyone. Timely, sophisticated, and necessary, Food Security explains how this leaves all of us more vulnerable and offers important ideas for what to do about it."
Paul Wapner, associate professor and director of the Global Environmental Politics Program at the American University

"Bryan McDonald must be read if one wants to understand the complexity of the global food system and its sweeping impacts on human security."
Erika Weinthal, Duke University

"McDonald breaks free of the disciplinary and sectoral shackles that so commonly plague analyses of key global challenges like food security. His explicit integrated approach to impacts and implications for food security makes this contribution more robust and more useful to a wider set of actors."
Geoff Dabelko, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

"Bryan McDonald's excellent narrative of how global changes are impacting food security provides a valuable addition to better understanding the larger changes in the nature of security, and offers wise guidance for improving food security."
Kenneth Rutherford, director of the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery and professor of political science at James Madison University

  • A new volume in Polity's cutting-edge ‘Dimensions of Security' series exploring one of the decisive global challenges of the 21st century.
  • The first book to introduce students to the major issues relating to food security in the world today.
  • Explores how processes of globalization and global change have reshaped food systems in ways that have significant impacts for the national security of states and the human of communities and individuals.
  • Shows that while global food networks provide opportunities for improving health and well-being, they also give rise to new kinds of security threats and vulnerabilities.