Redefining Security Along the Food-Health Nexus: report of a conference and center launch held at Stanford University on November 10, 2011

For most scholars the concept of security encompasses issues of state legitimacy, economic and political sovereignty, and protection from military, nuclear, or terrorist assault. Yet billions of people, particularly in the developing world, face more severe, individual security threats on a daily basis, such as inadequate nutrition, disease burdens, lack of potable water, and risks of sexual assault or human trafficking. Such human security concerns can become national security issues when citizens rise up against their governments or threaten to rebel. Human security issues can also emerge as international security threats—those that create conflict or galvanize cooperation among governments—with escalating income and resource inequities between countries. Stanford University has a strong tradition of scholarship in conventional areas of national and international security, as well as in the areas of global food security and health policy. On November 10, 2011, Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) held a major conference to integrate these areas of scholarship, and to launch the Center on Food Security and the Environment (FSE) as a major thrust of its international research and teaching agenda.