03. Dezember 2012 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Armut, ansteigende Lebensmittelpreise und die Arabellion · Kategorien: Ägypten, Lesetipps, Mittelmeerroute, Tunesien · Tags: ,

The Food Crises and Political Instability in North Africa and the Middle East

Marco Lagi, Karla Z. Bertrand, Yaneer Bar-Yam
(Submitted on 11 Aug 2011)

Social unrest may reflect a variety of factors such as poverty, unemployment, and social injustice. Despite the many possible contributing factors, the timing of violent protests in North Africa and the Middle East in 2011 as well as earlier riots in 2008 coincides with large peaks in global food prices. We identify a specific food price threshold above which protests become likely. These observations suggest that protests may reflect not only long-standing political failings of governments, but also the sudden desperate straits of vulnerable populations. If food prices remain high, there is likely to be persistent and increasing global social disruption. Underlying the food price peaks we also find an ongoing trend of increasing prices. We extrapolate these trends and identify a crossing point to the domain of high impacts, even without price peaks, in 2012-2013. This implies that avoiding global food crises and associated social unrest requires rapid and concerted action.

Cite as: arXiv:1108.2455 [physics.soc-ph]
(or arXiv:1108.2455v1 [physics.soc-ph] for this version)

From: Yaneer Bar-Yam [view email]

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