Friday, February 27, 2009

We're on the brink of disaster

Every outbreak of violence has its own distinctive origins and characteristics. All, however, are driven by a similar combination of anxiety about the future and lack of confidence in the ability of established institutions to deal with the problems at hand.

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The riots that erupted in the spring of 2008 in response to rising food prices suggested the speed with which economically related violence can spread.

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The cost of food is now closely tied to the price of oil and natural gas because petrochemicals are so widely and heavily used in the cultivation of grains.

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zero economic growth in the developing world and rising food prices -- and you have a perfect recipe for unrelenting civil unrest and violence.

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Statistical modeling shows that economic crises increase the risk of regime-threatening instability if they persist over a one to two year period

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