The impact of sanctions on food security: traditional and new dimensions

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Department of International Organizations and World Political Processes, and Director of Center for Security and Development Studies, School of World Politics, Lomonosov Moscow State University

The impact of sanctions on food security: traditional and new dimensions
// Pathways to Peace and Security. 2022. No 2 (63). P. 11-37
DOI: 10.20542/2307-1494-2022-2-11-37

Abstract. The article explores an increasingly relevant topic of the impact of the sanction pressure on food security, summarizes and refines the assessments that have gained ground in political and academic discourse by early 2020s. The study first examines the restrictions on food and agricultural products, points at the legal gap that had emerged in this domain during the Cold War, and examines attempts to partially mitigate this gap by means of humanitarian exemptions from the sanction regimes. The range of options for making such exemptions has significantly expanded after the Cold War, but some factors, especially zero risk tolerance and overcompliance by financial institutions, reduce the effectiveness of these exemptions. Key mechanisms of direct and indirect impact of trade and financial sanctions on food security are addressed at the macro-level. The article also focuses on the novel dimensions of the nexus between sanctions and food security that emerged as a result of an escalation of the conflict in Ukraine and the following wave of unprecedented Western sanctions against Russia. In the future, the Western powers can also step up primary and secondary sanctions against those large non-Western powers who act as both suppliers of food products and donors of development programs. This, however, would inevitably have destructive reverse impact on the economies of both third states and sanctioning countries themselves. As a result, the sanctions–food security nexus may become even stronger, which, in turn, may hinder the achievement of food security-related goals and tasks envisaged in Global Sustainable Development Agenda. The only way out of this impasse is to boost parallel efforts to mitigate disruptive consequences of economic sanctions and to create conditions for resolving the conflicts which led to imposing these sanctions.

Keywords: sanctions, food security, food assistance, agricultural trade, international development cooperation, humanitarian exemptions, overcompliance


About author

Vladimir Bartenev – Associate Professor, Department of International Organizations and World Political Processes, and Director of Center for Security and Development Studies, School of World Politics, Lomonosov Moscow State University.


Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Bartenev V. The impact of sanctions on food security: traditional and new dimensions // Pathways to Peace and Security. 2022. No 2 (63). P. 11-37. https://doi.org/10.20542/2307-1494-2022-2-11-37



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