This brief aims to explore the links between nutrition, food price stability and civil unrest in Asia Pacific and the role of inequality in connecting these, with a focus on Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands as case study countries. There are numerous factors that may contribute to civil unrest. We focus on the role of food prices as well as wider social inequalities and exclusion, manifested (and indeed perpetuated) by high rates of undernutrition. ‘The politics of undernutrition have long been neglected’ (Gillespie et al. 2013) and we aim to inform this debate.
We begin with a short overview of inequalities in nutrition, followed by a review of the recent food price shocks and the mobilisations that followed them. Finally, we provide some preliminary conclusions.