ABSTRACT

An underlying theme that is common to most of the chapters in this volume relates to the variable and changing nature of the social contract for food security between the state and its citizens. This contract can be seen as responding to the four pillars of food security: availability, access, utilization and stability (FAO 2009). The nature of these contracts between states and citizens varies both spatially and temporally. Some countries continue to demonstrate strong commitments, particularly South Korea and Viet Nam, but the extent to which these responsibilities are seen to be anchored in domestic production has shifted over time, as taking advantage of the benefi ts of globalization is now thought to be a more effective route to food security than gaining national subsistence through domestic production. Other countries, such as Nepal, show little evidence of the development of such a social contract and, as the Sudan case study shows, food aid may have contributed to the failure to establish such a contract.