Food Security and Agri-Foreign Direct Investment in Weak States: Finding the Governance Gap to Avoid ‘Land Grab’

Smith, Fiona; Häberli, Christian (2014). Food Security and Agri-Foreign Direct Investment in Weak States: Finding the Governance Gap to Avoid ‘Land Grab’. Modern Law Review, 77(2), pp. 189-222. John Wiley & Sons

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Food security is important. A rising world population coupled with climate change creates growing pressure on global world food supplies. States alleviate this pressure domestically by attracting agri-foreign direct investment (agri-FDI). This is a high-risk strategy for weak states: the state may gain valuable foreign currency, technology and debt-free growth; but equally, investors may fail to deliver on their commitments and exploit weak domestic legal infrastructure to ‘grab’ large areas of prime agricultural land, leaving only marginal land for domestic production. A net loss to local food security and to the national economy results. This is problematic because the state must continue to guarantee its citizens’ right to food and property. Agri-FDI needs close regulation to maximise its benefit. This article maps the multilevel system of governance covering agri-FDI. We show how this system creates asymmetric rights in favour of the investor to the detriment of the host state’s food security and how these problems might be alleviated.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > World Trade Institute
10 Strategic Research Centers > World Trade Institute

02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > NCCR International Trade Regulation

UniBE Contributor:

Häberli, Christian

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 340 Law

ISSN:

0026-7961

Publisher:

John Wiley & Sons

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation

Projects:

[UNSPECIFIED] NCCR Trade Regulation

Language:

English

Submitter:

Christian Häberli

Date Deposited:

22 Jul 2014 14:06

Last Modified:

26 May 2016 07:50

Related URLs:

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.54552

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/54552

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