Food security as a global public good

In José Luis Vivero-Pol, Tomaso Ferrando, Olivier de Schutter & Ugo Mattei (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Food as a Commons. Routledge. pp. 85-99 (2020)
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Food security brings a number of benefits to humanity from which nobody can be excluded and which can be simultaneously enjoyed by all. An economic understanding of the concept sees food security qualify as a global public good. However, there are four other ways of understanding a public good which are worthy of attention. A normative public good is a good from which nobody ought to be excluded. Alternatively, one might acknowledge the benevolent character of a public good. Others have argued that public goods demand being public in the sense of being visible to all. Finally, it has also been argued that public goods are those goods which need joint action to be produced and maintained. This chapter discusses these five understandings of the public good in relation to food security and highlights the advantage of assessing policies from each of these perspectives.

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Cristian Timmermann
Universität Augsburg


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