Oil for Food: The Global Food Crisis and the Middle East

Paperback | March 12, 2015

byEckart Woertz

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In the wake of the global food crisis of 2008, Middle Eastern oil producers have 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 ofsimultaneous 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 andfertilizers. 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 insidestory 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. 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 essentialreading for academics interested in the political economy of the Gulf region and for practitioners in governments, the media, and international organizations who deal with contemporary food security and energy issues.

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From the Publisher

In the wake of the global food crisis of 2008, Middle Eastern oil producers have 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 ofsimultaneous global crises in the fields of...

Eckart Woertz is senior researcher at the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB). Formerly he was a visiting fellow at Princeton University, director of economic studies at the Gulf Research Center in Dubai, and worked for banks in Germany and the United Arab Emirates.

other books by Eckart Woertz

Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:March 12, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198729391

ISBN - 13:9780198729396

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback EditionPrefaceIntroduction1. The Gulf Food Security PredicamentPart I: Gulf Food Security: History, Political Economy, and Geopolitics2. Ethiopian Wheat and American Tires: Gulf Food Security and World War II3. Rise and Fall of the Blooming Desert: The Self-Sufficiency Illusion4. The Food Weapon: Geopolitics in the Middle EastPart II: Gulf Food Security and International Agro-Investments5. The Global Land Grab Phenomenon6. The Sudan Bread-Basket Dream7. Return to the Future: Current Gulf Agro-investments8. Explaining the Implementation Gap: Money, Water, and Politics9. Oil-for-Food Policies?References

Editorial Reviews

"Can the Gulf countries rely on food imports at all times? Food exporters have resorted to export bans when food markets tightened, raising an existential issue for countries as utterly dependent on imports as the GCC members. Eckart Woertz's is the first thorough investigation of this crucialaspect of Gulf countries' sustainability; it is mandatory reading for understanding a key concern shaping the GCC's international relations and investment policy." --Giacomo Luciani, Princeton Global Scholar