Center for American Progress

Focusing on the Drivers of Conflict and Instability
In the News

Focusing on the Drivers of Conflict and Instability

Max Hoffman and Meredith Leal discuss the Food Chain Reaction project, which aims to increase understanding of the ripple effects that threaten the global food supply chain and identify the institutional gaps the international community must address.

The Center for American Progress has long focused on the underlying drivers of conflict and instability and sought to outline ways in which to strengthen the liberal international order through cooperation with emerging powers to address shared challenges. The linked challenges of global food security and climate change are at the heart of these twin efforts.

Writing for U.S. and international policymakers and the public, CAP’s primary objective has been to convey how underlying trends like population growth, climate change, and human migration contribute to acute secondary effects like rapid increases in staple prices, political instability, and conflict. This effort, housed largely in our project on Climate Change, Migration, and Security, has produced a series of reports focusing on key regional hot spots.

Over time, we have realized that the scholarship must go a step further. Our research on the security and foreign policy side is often missing crucial expertise from the agricultural and investment community. We can identify how rural disruption and migration contribute to urban unrest and political instability, but we need input from commodities traders, insurance companies, and agricultural scientists to understand, for example, how climate patterns around the world reverberate through supply chains to spark food riots. The trading and scientific communities, in turn, stand to benefit from exposure to the political and security analyses which are our focus, identifying how insecurity and diverse political pressures can complicate responses to food insecurity.

The above excerpt was originally published in Food Chain Reaction. Click here to view the full article.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Max Hoffman

Former Senior Director

Meredith Leal

Program Coordinator