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Food Price Policy in an Era of Market Instability: A Political Economy Analysis

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Book Series: WIDER Studies in Development Economics ISBN: 9780198718574 Year: Pages: 544 DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198718574.001.0001 Language: English
Publisher: Oxford University Press Grant: UNU WIDER
Subject: Environmental Sciences --- Economics
Added to DOAB on : 2016-10-10 11:01:18
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Abstract

Food price volatility is one of the major challenges facing the global agricultural system today. This was most vividly illustrated during the global food crisis of 2007–9 when price spikes occurred for key staple food commodities—such as wheat, rice, maize, and soybeans. Given the variety of reactions by governments of countries experiencing similar food price shocks, the 2007–9 crisis offered an excellent natural experiment for generating knowledge on responses to price volatility in particular and on the political economy of agricultural policy-making more generally. This book contains the wealth of collaborative research by a global team of experts on food price policy—the research was undertaken on a sizeable group of low- and middle-income countries that were highly affected by the 2007–9 food crisis. The central aim of the study is to uncover which political economy factors—ranging from the constellation of different interest groups to the nature of political institutions—explain variations in policy responses across countries. The research output proves valuable for at least three target audiences. First, it can inform international organizations and donors about which types of policy interventions can mitigate price volatility and whether they are feasible given a country’s political economy context. Second, it can help national policy makers better understand the trade-offs of certain policy interventions. Third, it generates much-needed further knowledge about the agricultural policy-making process in developing countries, which remains incredibly scarce despite the importance of agriculture to these countries’ economies.

Blame It On the WTO: A Human Rights Critique

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ISBN: 9780199689767 Year: Pages: 327 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_454396 Language: English
Publisher: Oxford University Press Grant: OAPEN-UK
Subject: Law --- Economics --- Political Science
Added to DOAB on : 2013-10-01 07:26:06
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The World Trade Organization (WTO) is often accused of, at best, not paying enough attention to human rights or, at worst, facilitating and perpetuating human rights abuses. This book weighs these criticisms and examines their validity, incorporating legal arguments as well as some economic and political science perspectives. After introducing the respective WTO and human rights regimes, and discussing their legal and normative relationship to each other, the book presents a detailed analysis of the main human rights concerns relating to the WTO. These include the alleged democratic deficit within the Organization and the impact of WTO rules on the right to health, labour rights, the right to food, and on questions of poverty and development. Given that some of the most important issues within the WTO concern its impact on poor people within developing States, the book asks whether rich States have an obligation to the people of poorer States to construct a fairer trading system that better facilitates the alleviation of poverty and development. Against this background, the book examines the current Doha round proposals as well as suggestions for reform of the WTO to make it more ‘human rights-friendly’.

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