Conflict Cuisine® began as a course at American University’s School of International Service, which looked at how food of the diaspora communities in Washington reflected the state of conflicts around the globe. The course also examined why food is a form of Smart Power, but could also be a driver of conflict even in the 21st century. Through this course we have a grown a lively discussion on why in zones of conflict food becomes central to both survival and resilience. We have also recognized the power of food to create dialogue among communities who come to the United States by providing not only sustenance but also understanding of the diverse cultural roots that have created new tastes and appetites in the American palate.
Read New Report: Foreign Policy in the Kitchen
Image by U.S. Embassy, Jakarta (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
“… Discussions about food now recognize the interconnected nature of food with a very broad constituency of people and organizations.”
Conflict Cuisine®: Kitchen as the New Venue of Foreign Policy –> April 21, 2015
Conflict is multidimensional, as is the concept of food security. Yet, despite the enormous amount of resources devoted to humanitarian purposes and development in conflict or post-conflict countries, we still do not fully understand what levels or aspects of food insecurity are most likely to directly contribute to or cause conflict, or the ways in which food can or does serve as a vehicle of reconciliation and transition. Conflict Cuisine seeks to contribute to interdisciplinary academic research in this area.
“World leaders can share meals, but it won’t create lasting peace. That has to happen at the citizen level. But it is becoming clear that using food as a means of engagement can produce important connections between nations and people.” (“Is the Kitchen the New Venue of Foreign Policy?”)