The School of International Service’s interdisciplinary approach includes transformational research at the intersection of food, agriculture, and politics. Why is this research important? Everyone eats. What we eat – and how and where it is grown – is one of the most critical global policy issues of our time.
Learn more about our faculty’s research on agricultural biodiversity, conflict cuisine, and the links between environmental policy, agrarian politics, and human rights. Because somewhere in the world, someone is working to grow your next meal.
A medical anthropologist, Lauren Carruth specializes in humanitarian assistance, global health, food security, refugees, and the Horn of Africa. Much of her ethnographic work focuses on the lasting social and health system effects of episodic humanitarian interventions in the Somali region of Ethiopia.
Adam Diamond’s research and teaching interests revolve around the intersection of food systems, sustainability, and political economy. Previously, he worked for the United States Department of Agriculture, where he conducted applied research on local food system development as a strategy for enhancing small and mid-sized farm viability.
Marion Dixon researches agriculture and food system change, with a focus on North Africa. A main question that her research addresses is the relationship between agricultural productivity and economic development, in the past and currently. Marion conducted multi-method field research in Egypt on agri-food industry growth from 2008-2012. She is also currently researching the long socio-ecological history of chemical fertilizer – and in particular the role of mined phosphate rock in this history.
Johanna Mendelson Forman researches and teaches courses in conflict cuisine—an area that explores how food becomes a form of Smart Power and drives conflict. An expert on post-conflict transition and democratization issues, Dr. Mendelson Forman also has had extensive field experience in the U.S. government on transition initiatives in Haiti, Iraq, and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is a Senior Advisor with the Managing Across Boundaries Program at the Stimson Center and is also a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Read articles featuring Mendelson Forman's work on gastrodiplomacy:
Scott Freeman is an environmental anthropologist who studies the intersections of agriculture, international aid, and labor in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. He has conducted ethnographic research on coffee cooperatives, the vetiver oil trade, and the long term consequences of soil conservation projects.
Garrett Graddy-Lovelace studies global environmental and agricultural policy and politics. A critical geographer, she draws upon political ecology and postcolonial studies in current research on agricultural biodiversity conservation, agrarian cooperatives, and the domestic and global impacts of U.S. farm policies.