A Political Economy of the Food Riot

  • Raj Patel
  • Philip McMichael


In 2007 and 2008, the world witnessed the return of one of the oldest forms of collective action, the food riot. Countries where protests occurred ranged from Italy, where ‘Pasta Protests’ in September 2007 were directed at the failure of the Prodi government to prevent a 30% rise in the price of pasta, to Haiti, where protesters railed against President Préval’s impassive response to the doubling in the price of rice over the course of a single week. Other countries in which riots were reported included Uzbekistan, Morocco, Guinea, Mauritania, Senegal, India, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Yemen, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Mexico, and Argentina, and some commentators have estimated that 30 countries experienced some sort of food protest over this period (Jafri, 2008).


Food Security Political Economy Food Price Food Regime Food Sovereignty 


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© Raj Patel and Philip McMichael 2014

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  • Raj Patel
  • Philip McMichael

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