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Oil for Food: The Global Food Crisis and the Middle East (Hardback)
  • Oil for Food: The Global Food Crisis and the Middle East (Hardback)
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Oil for Food: The Global Food Crisis and the Middle East (Hardback)

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£69.00
Hardback 346 Pages / Published: 25/04/2013
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In the wake of the global food crisis of 2008 Middle Eastern oil producers announced multi-billion investments to secure food supplies from abroad. Often called land grabs, such investments are at the heart of the global food security challenge and put the Middle East in the spotlight of simultaneous global crises in the fields of food, finance, and energy. Water scarcity here is most pronounced, import dependence growing, and the links between oil and food are manifold ranging from the economics of biofuels to climate change and the provision of crucial input factors like fuels and fertilizers. In the future, the Middle East will not only play a prominent role in global oil, but also in global food markets, this time on the consumption side. In Oil for Food, Eckart Woertz analyzes the geopolitical implications behind the current investment drive of Arab Gulf countries in food insecure countries like Sudan or Pakistan. Having lived in Dubai for seven years, and drawing on extensive archival sources and interviews, he gives the inside story of how regional food security concerns have developed historically, how domestic agro-lobbies shape policy making, and how the failed attempt to develop Sudan as an Arab bread-basket in the 1970s carries important lessons for today's investments drive. The book argues against the media hype that has been created around land grabs and analyzes why there has been such a gap between announced projects and their actual implementation. Instead, it calls for a revision of Gulf food security policies and suggests policy alternatives. It is essential reading for academics interested in the political economy of the Gulf region and for practitioners in governments, media, and international organizations who deal with contemporary food security and energy issues.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199659487
Number of pages: 346
Weight: 672 g
Dimensions: 241 x 163 x 26 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
... it is to Woertz's credit that he has done such a skilled job of amassing and synthesizing a tremendous pile of historical and contemporary evidence * Mario Luis Cardozo, The Journal of Peasant Studies *
Eckart Woertz grapples with the delusions of those who depend on the availability and affordability of food and energy in global systems. He highlights the dangerous assumptions of many sovereign and market players as well as the risks implicit in existing asymmetric global arrangements. His insights are deeply researched and compelling. * Tony Allan, King's College London and SOAS London *
This book comes at a time when ideas about achieving food security in the Arab world have become popular again. While the author concludes that the ability to pay for food imports rather than the technology for planting food in the desert is what will continue to make Arab countries food secure, an important contribution of the book is to discuss the psychological and geo-strategic issues behind the self-sufficiency concerns. Rich in anecdotes and historical detail the book is not only a superb source of information but also fun to read. * Clemens Breisinger, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) *
This is a remarkably important book, analyzing one of the most critical issues facing the Persian Gulf Sheikhdoms. Woertz is thorough, detailed, and balanced in his treatment of the problem of food security in the Persian Gulf region and beyond, looking, among other things, at the perils and opportunities of agro-investments abroad, principally in Africa. For anyone interested in better understanding the challenges of food security, both globally and in the Middle East, Oil for Food is a must read. * Mehran Kamrava, Georgetown University Qatar *
Woertz's superb political economy analysis of Middle Eastern agriculture could not be more timely, as the global food crisis of the mid 1970sbrought on by high oil pricesseems set for a re-run. The vital relationship between oil and food, and the Middle Easts key role in that relationship, has been all but ignored for a generation. Woertz's study fills a huge gap in our understanding of a topic that is of paramount importance for this region and for the global economy. * Professor Robert Springborg, Department of National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School *
This is a remarkably important book, analyzing one of the most critical issues facing the Persian Gulf Sheikhdoms. Woertz is thorough, detailed, and balanced in his treatment of the problem of food security in the Persian Gulf region and beyond, looking, among other things, at the perils and opportunities of agro-investments abroad, principally in Africa. For anyone interested in better understanding the challenges of food security, both globally and in the Middle East, Oil for Food is a must read. * Mehran Kamrava, Georgetown University Qatar *

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