"Mass food production" by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos. CC BY-NC, accessed via Wikimedia Commons.

A Global Plate: The Dynamics of International Food Politics

Our spring 2016 feature issue, A Global Plate: The Dynamics of International Food Politics, has hit newsstands! Check out the latest print edition as well as some exclusive online content.


People have had a deep-rooted connection to land and the sustenance it provides. This link has been nurtured, revered, and politicized over time, and it is most clearly manifested in the production and distribution of food. While bringing benefits like increased efficiency, globalization has also exacerbated age-old issues linked with the food supply, in addition to opening the way for new challenges to take root. In this issue, the Harvard International Review will take a closer look at the global plate the supply chain feeding the planet and its effects on the international arena.

Various legal systems, environmental conditions, and innovations in accessibility work together to shape the way people around the world interact with food. In this issue, individuals working at the intersection of these topics parse through the complicated threads that bring together food and the individual. John Teton, the Director of the International Food Security Treaty Campaign, examines the severity of hunger worldwide and lays out the necessary steps for ensuring a future free of starvation. Michael R. Taylor and Howard R. Sklamberg of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discuss the benefits of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act and its importance in encouraging international collaboration on food security and safety. Mark Jacobsen, the founder of the Syria Airlift Project, provides an example of potential alternatives for dealing with food security issues in Syria through drone deliveries. Staff writers Yusuf Jailani, Laura Kanji, Steven Menelly, and Agustín Rodríguez López expand on other issues that complicate the process of feeding the world.

Apart from the featured content, the interview with Prince Turki Bin Faisal Al Saud, former Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United States describes Saudi policy in the Middle East in regards to the Islamic state militants and the Yemen war. Margaret Hamburg, former Commissioner of the FDA, discusses her time at the Food and Drug Administration and how it grew under her tenure. Kirk Shireman, Program Manager of the International Space Station (ISS), describes the various projects of the ISS and the international collaboration that takes place in this setting. Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO of Plan International discusses the importance of empowering girls and achieving gender equality.

Furthermore, in his article, former President of Iran Abolhassan Banisadr presents democratic alternatives for addressing terrorism. Jason Cone, Executive Director of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) USA, and Monica Rull, an Operational Health Advisor for MSF, explicate the politics of epidemics and the role that the global health security framework can play in addressing them. Dr. Sergei A. Karaganov, Honorary Chairman of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and Kristina I. Cherniavskaia and Dmitry P. Novikov, junior research fellows at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, examine the current state of Russian foreign policy. Maithamako Anna Mmolai-Chalmers, the LGBTI Program Coordinator at the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA), and Anneke Meerkotter, the Litigation Director at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, discuss sexual orientation and the right to organize through the case study of LEGABIBO in Botswana. Finally, Peppino DeBiaso, the Director of Missile Defense Policy for the US Department of Defense, explains US-GCC relations and outlines the potential for multilateral defense arrangements in the Middle East.

Access to food is a basic human right. Despite many advances brought on by globalization, new challenges pose an urgent risk to these aspirations. Today, the issue is ensuring not only a sufficient quantity of food for the world, but also a higher quality of this sustenance. In this issue, the Harvard International Review aims to take stock of the situation and evaluate the state of the world’s plate.

To a world without hunger

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Ashley Collins & Mahnoor Faisal Khan

Editors-in-Chief

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