All FSI Projects

Feeding the World in the 21st Century: Exploring the Connections between Food Production, Health, Environmental Resources, and International Security

mombabe FSE square
mombabe FSE thick


James D. Fearon
Gary K. Schoolnik
Paul H. Wise
Andrew Mack
Director, Human Security Center, Univ. British Columbia
Walter P. Falcon
Marshall Burke
David S. Battisti
University of Washington

This project involves political scientists, economists, and medical researchers to address the question of whether hunger, poverty, disease and agricultural resource constraints foster civil conflict and international terrorism. Economists have elucidated the links between agricultural stagnation, poverty, and food insecurity, and political scientists have empirically analyzed the role of poverty in facilitating civil conflict. To date there has been virtually no work bringing the two perspectives together, nor in exploring their connection to infectious disease and dwindling environmental resources. This project seeks to establish the empirical and policy linkages between the approaches, with the goals of reducing poverty, disease, and violent conflict.

Completed seminars exploring such "deadly connections" include:

  • Jeremy Weinstein, Political Science, Stanford University
    Talk title: "AIDS, Security, and Social Stability"
  • Ted Miguel, Economics, Berkeley
    Talk title: "Spring Cleaning: A Randomized Evaluation of Source Water Quality Improvement"
  • Colin Kahl, Political Science, Georgetown
    Talk title: "States, Scarcity, and Civil Strife in the Developing World"
  • Macartan Humphreys, Political Science, Columbia (CISAC Visiting Fellow)
    Talk title: "Poverty and Rebel Recruitment in Liberia's Civil War"
  • David Battisti, Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington
    Talk title: "Climate change in conflict-prone countries"


Kaitlin Shilling