Free market or food stockpiles : A comparative case study of food supply in a crisis perspective in Sweden and Finland

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Teologiska institutionen

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to identify similarities and differences in preparations by Sweden and Finland to ensure food supply in a crisis. Previous research consisting of separate studies have showed a decreased ability to ensure food supply in crisis in Sweden, and an increased ability in Finland. In a time of raising awareness, changing security concerns and political will, the contribution of this study is to simultaneously investigate the two countries and provide an understanding of the historical- and present approaches. By using comparative case study as method and applying International relations theory, a broader understanding of the different approaches by otherwise similar countries is achieved. The approaches of Sweden can be explained by using realist, neorealist, liberal and neoliberal theories while Finland’s approach best can be explained by realist and neorealist theories. The study is relevant for the field of humanitarian action and conflict since it provides an understanding of the countries contingency plans regarding food. Threat assessments from both countries identifies man-made conflicts such as terrorism, cyber-attacks, use of military force and war to have the possibility to create disruptions in the normal cycles of the society and those of surrounding countries. If these threats were to occur, basic needs must be met, one being food supply.

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