The Politics of Food
The Global Conflict between Food Security and Food Sovereignty
by William D. Schanbacher
February 2010, 148pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-36328-3
$70, £54, 61€, A96
eBook Available: 978-0-313-36329-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

It would seem that the world’s capacity for food production would be staggering. Yet we live in a world where over 850 million people suffer from hunger and malnutrition, while nearly 2 billion people—one-third of the global population—live in poverty so extreme they live in fear of starvation.

A description of the current global food system, this book challenges our ethical responsibility to the global poor and implicates us all for failing to curb global hunger and malnutrition.

The Politics of Food: The Global Conflict between Food Security and Food Sovereignty argues that our current global food system constitutes a massive violation of human rights.

In this impassioned, well-researched book, William Schanbacher makes the case that the food security model for combating global hunger—driven by the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and other organizations—is a failure, too dependent on trade and too reliant on international agribusiness. Instead, the emerging model of food sovereignty—helping local farmers and businesses produce better quality food—is the more effective and responsible approach. Through numerous case studies, the book examines critical issues of global trade and corporate monopolization of the food industry, while examining the emerging social justice movements that seek to make food sovereignty the model for battling hunger.


  • Includes citations and references to primary source documents of the United Nations, World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization
  • Offers an index of key terms and themes, such as food security, food sovereignty, and human rights
William D. Schanbacher, PhD, is a scholar of religion and social ethics and received his PhD from Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA. He currently lives and teaches in Colorado.


"Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through professional collections."—Choice, August 1, 2010

"One of the top 7 books on feeding the world: Our current global food system is a violation of human rights, says Schanbacher. This passionate and informative book argues the current model for combating global hunger is too dependent on trade and international agribusiness. Schanbacher puts together a concise argument—examining global trade and corporate monopolisation of the food industry—on why food sovereignty is a more sustainable and effective approach to solving world hunger."—The Guardian, June 2, 2015

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