Journal Article


The Sustainability and Resilience of Global Water and Food Systems: A Political Analysis of the Interplay Between Security, Resource Scarcity, Political Systems and Global Trade

Published on 22 January 2011

This article looks at the interrelationship between water and food security. More specifically, it examines the resilience and sustainability of water and food systems to shocks and stresses linked to different levels and intensity of conflict, global trade and climate change.

The article makes four points:

  1. that resource scarcity as a driver of conflict is inconclusive especially at regional and national levels;
  2. most insecurities surrounding water and food are explained by political power, social and gender relations;
  3. global trade has enabled national food and water security, but that is now threatened by increasing food prices, food sovereignty movements and land ‘grabbing’;
  4. and that water and food security will face major challenges under conditions of climate change.

Research highlights

  • Resource scarcity rarely leads to food and water wars.
  • Water and food insecurity are mostly explained by power and gender relations.
  • Food/water security through global trade is called into question by various policy initiatives.
  • Water and food management will face major challenges and uncertainties due to climate change.


Jeremy Allouche

Professorial Fellow

Publication details

published by
Allouche, J.
Food Policy, volume 36, issue S1


About this publication

Related content