2021 Global Food Policy Report

Agriculture, Policies

2021 Global Food Policy Report

Lessons from COVID crisis for reducing inequities and enhancing resilience of food systems

The severe health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have disrupted food systems and upended livelihoods. Yet pandemic responses have demonstrated the power of well-crafted policies to blunt the impact of major shocks while laying the groundwork for stronger, more resilient food systems, according to the 2021 Global Food Policy Report, released today by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). The report provides lessons drawn from the current crisis that can help us transform food systems to reduce the impact of the ongoing pandemic, better prepare for future shocks, and address longstanding weaknesses and inequalities.

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Climate Change, Rich-Poor Gap, Conflict Likely to Grow: U.S. Intelligence Report

Ecology, Poverty, Threats

Climate Change, Rich-Poor Gap, Conflict Likely to Grow: U.S. Intelligence Report

Disease, the rich-poor gap, climate change and conflicts within and among nations will pose greater challenges in coming decades, with the COVID-19 pandemic already worsening some of those problems, a U.S. intelligence report said on Thursday.

The rivalry between China and a U.S.-led coalition of Western nations likely will intensify, fueled by military power shifts, demographics, technology and “hardening divisions over governance models,” said Global Trends 2040, produced by the U.S. National Intelligence Council (NIC).

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The Politics of Stopping Pandemics

Disease, Threats

The Politics of Stopping Pandemics

Even before the COVID-19 crisis, global instability had caused a worrying rise in epidemics. Medical science alone won’t be able to turn the tide.

“Just a few years ago, many of us in the global health policy community were thrilled at the prospect of eliminating catastrophic infectious and tropical diseases,” Peter Hotez writes in his new book, “Preventing the Next Pandemic” (Johns Hopkins). He dates this high point of optimism to the start of 2015, when the success of vaccination campaigns had become dramatically evident. Polio, once endemic in more than a hundred countries, had been limited to three—Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Measles deaths were down by eighty per cent, from half a million children worldwide in 2000 to a fifth of that number.

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Report says more than 100 million children fail basic reading skills because of COVID-19

Education, Policies

Report says more than 100 million children fail basic reading skills because of COVID-19

A UNESCO statement said in 2020, instead of 460 million children experiencing reading difficulties, that number jumped to 584 million.

A new study, released on Friday by the UN cultural agency, has revealed that more than 100 million more children, than expected, are falling behind the minimum proficiency level in reading, due to COVID-related school closures.

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The Politics of Regret: On Collective Memory and Historical Responsibility

Other Atrocities, Threats

The Politics of Regret: On Collective Memory and Historical Responsibility

In the past decade, Jeffrey Olick has established himself as one of the world’s pre-eminent sociologists of memory (and, related to this, both cultural sociology and social theory). His recent book on memory in postwar Germany, In the House of the Hangman (University of Chicago Press, 2005) has garnered a great deal of acclaim. This book collects his best essays on a range of memory related issues and adds a couple of new ones. It is more conceptually expansive than his other work and will serve as a great introduction to this important theorist

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Charm Offensive: How China’s Soft Power Is Transforming the World (A New Republic Book)

China, Demographic

Charm Offensive: How China’s Soft Power Is Transforming the World (A New Republic Book)

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, China is poised to become a major global power. And though much has been written of China’s rise, a crucial aspect of this transformation has gone largely unnoticed: the way that China is using soft power to appeal to its neighbors and to distant countries alike.

This book is the first to examine the significance of China’s recent reliance on soft power—diplomacy, trade incentives, cultural and educational exchange opportunities, and other techniques—to project a benign national image, position itself as a model of social and economic success, and develop stronger international alliances. Drawing on years of experience tracking China’s policies in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa, Joshua Kurlantzick reveals how China has wooed the world with a “charm offensive” that has largely escaped the attention of American policy makers.

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The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time

Poverty, Threats

The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time

The landmark exploration of economic prosperity and how the world can escape from extreme poverty for the world’s poorest citizens, from one  of the world’s most renowned economists

Hailed by Time as one of the world’s hundred most influential people, Jeffrey D. Sachs is renowned for his work around the globe advising economies in crisis. Now a classic of its genre, The End of Poverty distills more than thirty years of experience to offer a uniquely informed vision of the steps that can transform impoverished countries into prosperous ones. Marrying vivid storytelling with rigorous analysis, Sachs lays out a clear conceptual map of the world economy. Explaining his own work in Bolivia, Russia, India, China, and Africa, he offers an integrated set of solutions to the interwoven economic, political, environmental, and social problems that challenge the world’s poorest countries.

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Blood and Oil (American Empire Project)

Energy, Policies

Blood and Oil (American Empire Project)

In his pathbreaking Resource Wars, world security expert Michael Klare alerted us to the role of resources in conflicts in the post-cold-war world. Now, in Blood and Oil, he concentrates on a single precious commodity, petroleum, while issuing a warning to the United States―its most powerful, and most dependent, global consumer.

Since September 11 and the commencement of the “war on terror,” the world’s attention has been focused on the relationship between U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and the oceans of crude oil that lie beneath the region’s soil

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Plagues & Poxes: The Impact of Human History on Epidemic Disease

Disease, Threats

Plagues & Poxes: The Impact of Human History on Epidemic Disease

“Since publication of the initial version of Plagues & Poxes in 1987, which had the optimistic subtitle “The Rise and Fall of Epidemic Disease,” the rise of new diseases such as AIDS and the deliberate modification and weaponization of diseases such as anthrax have changed the way we perceive infectious disease.

With major modifications to deal with this new reality, the acclaimed author of Civil War Medicine: Challenges and Triumphs has updated and revised this series of essays about changing disease patterns in history and some of the key events and people involved in them.

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Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet

Agriculture, Policies

Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet

Thirty years ago, Frances Moore Lappé started a revolution in the way Americans think about food and hunger. Now Frances and her daughter, Anna, pick up where Diet for a Small Planet left off. Together they set out on an around-the-world journey to explore the greatest challenges we face in the new millennium.

Traveling to Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe, they discovered answers to one of the most urgent issues of our time: whether we can transcend the rampant consumerism and capitalism to find the paths that each of us can follow to heal our lives as well as the planet.

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