Cullen Hendrix presents "Food Prices, Oil Prices and Political Instability" | Department of Political Science

Cullen Hendrix presents "Food Prices, Oil Prices and Political Instability"

Event Date: 
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 12:00pm
Event Location: 
Wooten Hall, #319

Join us November 15th from 12:00 to 1:30pm for a presentation by Cullen Hendrix, author of Confronting the Curse: The Economics and Geopolitics of Natural Resource Governance. Cullen Hendrix (@cullenhendrix) is Associate Professor at the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy at the Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and Senior Research Advisor at the Center for Climate & Security. At the Korbel School, he directs the Environment, Food and Conflict (ENFOCO) Lab, which leverages collaborations between physical and social scientists and policymakers to produce scholarship and analysis on issues at the intersection of the environment, food security, and conflict and serves as co-director of the PhD program. With Idean Salehyan, he created and maintains the Social Conflict Analysis Database. He is also a regular contributor at Political Violence @ a Glance and a member of the Political Instability Task Force and Africa Board of Experts. He co-founded the GIS Center at Lake Victoria in Jinja, Uganda. (source:


"The political upheaval that attended the food and fuel prices spikes of the last decade has sparked interest in global food and fuel markets as a driver of political instability. Building on recent research that demonstrates differential effects of food price levels across regime types, I hypothesize that global food and fuel price levels will be more destabilizing in more open political systems and will affect primarily urban, more ephemeral forms of instability (adverse regime changes) more than rural ones, like ethnic or revolutionary wars. The effects are heterogeneous across regime types and types of instability. Higher global food prices increase the risk of political instability in non-autocratic regimes, but have no effect on political instability in full autocracies. Oil prices are negatively associated with the likelihood of political instability in non-autocracies. In full autocracies, the relationship is essentially flat. Global food and oil prices matter for adverse regime changes but not for civil, ethnic or revolutionary wars. These findings point to the importance of political institutions in determining where policymakers should anticipate global economic shocks will translate into domestic unrest."

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