The Hunger Games: Examining the Securitisation of Food in the Peoples Republic of China and its effect on Chinese Foreign Policy

Author: Ben Phillips

Phillips, Ben, 2018 The Hunger Games: Examining the Securitisation of Food in the Peoples Republic of China and its effect on Chinese Foreign Policy, Flinders University, College of Business, Government and Law

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Abstract

This thesis examines the way in which the need for food security has shaped the foreign policy of the Peoples Republic of China. It uses securitisation theory to define how food security (or lack thereof) can threaten a state’s societal, political, military, economic and environmental security. In addition to securitisation theory, it is necessary to understand the unique history that China has with food insecurity. This provides a background of how, through decades of hunger and starvation, the need for food security has been ingrained into the very psyche of the Chinese people and government. With an understanding of the importance of food security, as well as China’s unique history of food security, various elements of current Chinese foreign policy can be explained. In particular this thesis focusses on how food security has influenced China’s activities in the South China Sea and its One Belt, One Road initiative, as well as its relationships with both the developing and developed world. By using food security as a lens of analysis, the rationale of various policy decisions becomes clear. This thesis concludes that a thorough understanding of food security is necessary to effectively appreciate China’s current foreign policy and more importantly understand future policy decisions.

Keywords: China, Food Security, Securitisation, Chinese Foreign Policy

Subject: International Relations thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2018
School: College of Business, Government and Law
Supervisor: Maryanne Kelton