Dr Matias Margulis

Project Title: A chilling effect on food security policy? The World Trade Organization, public food stockholding and legal uncertainty

Many developing country governments are building up large food stockpiles as a response to growing concerns about the vulnerability of their populations to food insecurity.  The purpose of public food stockpiles is to provide countries with a buffer supply of food in case of shortages of food on international markets or when world food prices rise too quickly making food less affordable  –  these are events which have occurred with increasing frequency in developing countries over the last decade – and also to provide the poorest segments of the population with subsidized food to meet basic consumption needs. However, the manner in which some developing country governments operate public food stockpiling programmes may at times conflict with their commitments under international trade agreements to open up national food markets to international competition. Dr Margulis’ research project will examine how developing country governments attempt to reconcile what appear to be conflicts between domestic policy goals to tackle food insecurity with liberalization commitments made under international trade agreements.

Awarded: Research Incentive Grant

Field: Politics

University: University of Stirling

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