Planting the Seeds for Stability The Power of Development Diplomacy and the Impact of U.S. Agricultural Development Policy on Fragile States

Main Article Content

Zach Wehrli


Instances of global conflict have increased dramatically over the last decade.1 As climate change, population increase, and globalization continue to proliferate over the next century, it will be crucial for stakeholders at every level to reevaluate the best ways to address issues pertaining to global conflict, violence, and state stability. Despite many multilateral and nonprofit opportunities for intervention, states will most likely be tasked with mitigating the worst effects of these issues. One way that countries such as the United States (US) can begin to combat global conflict and state fragility is by reevaluating existing development strategies, policies, and budgets. Even a cursory glance at the US foreign development budget illustrates the low priority of current development policies. In fact, despite widespread misinformation among the American public, US expenditures for all international development line items constitute less than 1% of the total annual US budget.2 Agricultural development policy in particular is an underutilized method of preventing conflict, increasing state stability, and advancing US national security interests in the process. Existing literature has highlighted the links between food insecurity and instability, which means that agricultural development may have the ability to simultaneously improve the lives of millions of civilians across the globe and help the US advance and protect its strategic national security interests, including the global war on terror.

Article Details