November 2017

The African National Congress: Going South?

The African National Congress is synonymous with the anti-apartheid struggle. Since the end of apartheid, its appeal to both the rural and urban poor in South Africa has made it a force which is almost uniquely dominant in a democratic society.

Yet, the current day ANC finds itself in a precarious position. 2016 heralded a year of disastrous local election results for the ANC which lost its hold over five of South Africa’s biggest cities. Voters took the opportunity to voice their dissatisfaction and anger over the years of systemic corruption and the economic failings and struck a painful blow against the ANC.

Global Food Insecurity and Climate Change: The New Threats to International Stability

Global food insecurity is not a topic which initially comes to mind when thinking of challenges to international stability.  Food insecurity is often regarded by many as a humanitarian issue and is thus dealt with as part of the humanitarian project. This was the case in 2000, when world leaders met and decided to create the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG), in order to deal with extreme poverty and eradicate world hunger by 2015. Despite this goal not being achieved, the commitment displayed from institutions highlights the humanitarian approach taken when tackling food insecurity.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) states that food insecurity arises as a result of a situation when people are unable to always have physical, social and economic access to sufficient and nutritious food. With the world’s population growing at a high rate, the international community is now having to grapple with global food insecurity on an unprecedented scale.

Climate change is a significant contributor to global food insecurity. Remaining crops are at high risk of succumbing to extreme variation in weather. Communities dependent on staples such as maize and corn are unable to earn an income and meet their nutritional needs. Along with the corporatisation of agriculture and Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate deal, global food insecurity is undoubtedly set to become a more pressing issue, which will eventually be at the forefront of international relations.