June 6, 2008, 12:45 - 2:30 PM - Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. Headquarters
Is the Global Food Price Crisis a Threat to Emerging Democracies?
Friday, June 6th, 2008
12:45 PM – 2:30 PM
Soaring food prices, which have significantly outpaced increases in income in the developing world, have sparked major riots throughout the world from Latin America to Asia. The resulting unprecedented food shortages have sparked demand for government action in the developing world. Basic necessities have become too costly and some nations are seeing a larger percentage of their agricultural commodities sold on the international market. This has placed their focus on day to day survival. Will the expansion of the crisis outpace the ability of both governments and markets to respond effectively?
This crisis may threaten both authoritarian and democratic governments as government policies are unlikely to ameliorate the situation rapidly. In the larger context of international politics, this situation has also opened up the door to anti-democratic forces. A recent Washington Post article quoted World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick's warning "that more than 30 nations are at risk."
Hudson's Pew Briefing Series on Democracy was pleased to bring together some of the country's foremost experts to examine the effects that the food price crisis will have on democracy worldwide. What does this mean for fledgling democracies? Could anti-democratic forces use the crisis to solidify their footing? And what should U.S. policy in this domain be?
Joining us were Andrew Natsios, former U.S Special Envoy to Sudan and Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development; Robert Paarlberg, Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College; Raj Desai, Visiting Fellow with the Brookings Institute (Click here for Mr. Desai's presentation); and Rod Hunter, Hudson Institute Senior Fellow (Click here for Mr. Hunter's presentation). Amy Kauffman, director of Hudson's Pew Briefing Series, moderated the discussion.
For more information please contact Ioannis Saratsis at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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