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Woertz E.,Barcelona Center for International Affairs
Globalizations | Year: 2013

In the wake of the 2008 global food crisis and export restrictions imposed by major food exporters, Gulf states announced plans for foreign agro-investments, including major land deals, in the name of national of food security. Media reporting has often conveyed an inaccurate picture of these land deals since project implementation has lagged far behind official announcements. This essay analyzes Gulf states' land deals against the backdrop of domestic politics, strategic vulnerabilities, and earlier agro-investments in the Sudan during the 1970s. Approaches among Gulf states diverge considerably, most notably in the case of Saudi Arabia and Qatar that have created new governance institutions to coordinate food security policies and land investments. Gulf states have also increased their profile on the world stage and now their prominent role in the global land grab requires them to navigate new political spaces, including engagement with global civil society, water politics in countries where they are investing, and in emerging global governance initiatives related to food security and investment in land. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source


Keulertz M.,Purdue University | Woertz E.,Barcelona Center for International Affairs
International Journal of Water Resources Development | Year: 2015

The Water–Energy–Food (WEF) nexus is a development challenge in the Arab world, particularly in the ‘core nexus countries’ with low to mid-incomes in which limited water endowments permit agricultural production, such as Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Algeria, Sudan and Jordan. The WEF nexus is often conceptualized in mere technocratic terms, yet politics matter in the implementation of projects that address it. Internalizing hydrological externalities or leaving them as they are and financing them as a public good requires states whose capacities have been reduced as a result of neoliberal reform. The article explores five different pathways of how Arab countries could finance green growth projects ranging from regional financial markets to concessionary loans by funds from oil rich Gulf countries. © 2015, © 2015 Taylor & Francis. Source


Carafa L.,Barcelona Center for International Affairs
Energy Procedia | Year: 2015

For MENA countries, transitioning to renewables primarily depends on transnational challenges of financial and infrastructural nature that cannot be tackled at national level. New renewable energy cooperation structures with the MENA were recently established in an attempt to manage interdependence problems. Drawing on a case study of renewable energy policy and markets in the MENA, this article aims at assessing the actual capacity of emerging cooperation structures to thoroughly manage the governance gap behind the transition to renewable energy technologies across the MENA. This article argues that politics have prevailed over policy, with concrete negative implications in terms of renewable energy finance towards the MENA. It concludes that far more synergic governance structures are needed to overcome the many (non-political) barriers that still hinder the take-up of renewables across the MENA. © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Source


Maynou L.,University of Girona | Maynou L.,CIBER ISCIII | Maynou L.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Saez M.,University of Girona | And 4 more authors.
Regional Studies | Year: 2014

Maynou L., Saez M., Kyriacou A. and Bacaria J. The impact of Structural and Cohesion Funds on Eurozone convergence, 1990–2010, Regional Studies. Ever since the launch of the European integration process, and in particular in the context of Economic and Monetary Union, the European Union has endeavoured to facilitate economic convergence across Europe by providing funds to its poorer regions and countries. The main objective of this paper is to analyse whether the Structural and Cohesion Funds have contributed towards convergence between the Eurozone countries during the past two decades, 1990–2010. The results of the spatio-temporal econometric model specified in this paper illustrate that these funds have positively contributed to the gross domestic product per inhabitant (GDPPC) growth of receiving regions, thus allowing them to reach (conditional) convergence. © 2014 Regional Studies Association Source


Woertz E.,Barcelona Center for International Affairs | Keulertz M.,Purdue University
Food Security | Year: 2015

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is the world’s largest importer of food, especially of cereals, sugar and poultry. Tropical regions have gained growing importance as suppliers of such commodities in recent decades. Latin America and Africa in particular have been identified as sources of future agricultural growth that could provide exportable surpluses to the MENA and other food import dependent regions, such as East Asia. Foreign investors, host governments, local communities and international organizations are crucial actors in these agricultural expansion processes, which do, however, entail ecological and socio-economic risks. The article provides a historical perspective of tropical agriculture and the MENA in various food regimes since the 19th century. It then outlines the importance of tropical agriculture and the MENA in global food trade flows and analyzes to what extent the MENA relies on countries with tropical agriculture in its food trade. Finally, it takes a look at agricultural investment flows from the MENA to the tropics. Associated political and socio-economic issues are analyzed, reasons for a marked implementation gap are identified and finally how such investments might relate to MENA food security strategies is discussed. © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and International Society for Plant Pathology Source

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