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Keywords:

  • food regime;
  • world economy;
  • agricultural policy;
  • class coalitions;
  • USA;
  • UK

In this paper, I compare the formation of food regimes during British and US hegemony, which were mirror-images in terms of the degree of free trade and state regulation as well as the direction of trade flow of grains. Many scholars recognize that the foundation for each regime was laid by the national policy and dominant political coalition in the world-economic hegemon, but my analysis pays particular attention to the divisions and coalitions within agriculture as forces that drove the shape of each regime. Though important agricultural divisions existed in each case, the political power of the resulting agricultural coalitions – and those coalitions' relations to the nation's dominant coalition – are central to understanding the formation and spread of each food regime.