1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Sophia Murphy

Former Visiting Fellow

Sophia is a PhD candidate in the Resource Management and Environmental Studies programme at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada. She is a Vanier scholar (awarded by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council), a Trudeau Foundation scholar, and a Liu scholar at UBC’s Liu Institute for Global Issues. Before embarking on her PhD, she worked for twenty years as a public policy analyst, focused in particular on food security, rural development and international trade at the national, and multilateral levels. Her professional experience began working as a programme officer for the Canadian Council for International Cooperation in Ottawa and the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service in Geneva. She was Director of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)’s trade and global governance programme, including oversight of IATP’s office in Geneva, the Trade Information Project. She continues to work for IATP as an expert advisor on trade. She is a member of the UN Committee on World Food Security’s High Level Panel of Experts and a member of ActionAid USA’s board.

Sophia’s professional experience is primarily as a researcher, writer and public speaker, and includes public lectures, university teaching, and the organization of international conferences. Sophia has published extensively, including book chapters and academic journal articles, policy briefs and opinion pieces. She is bilingual (English/French) and a Canadian and British national. She did her undergraduate degree at Oxford University in Politics, Philosophy and Economics and has a Masters degree (with Distinction) in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries from the London School of Economics. She has lived and worked in countries around the world including India, Switzerland, the United States, Australia, Belgium and Canada. Her home is in Squamish, a small town north of Vancouver on the Howe Sound, in British Columbia, Canada.

Selected publications

Book Chapters

  • “Biofuels: Finding a Sustainable Balance for Food and Energy,” in Lawrence, G., Lyons, K. and Wallington, T. (ed.s), Food Security, Nutrition and Sustainability, Earthscan. London /Sterling VA. 2010.
  • “Free Trade in Agriculture: A Bad Idea Whose Time is Done,” in Magdoff, F. and Tokar, B. (ed.s), Agriculture and Food in Crisis. Conflict, Resistance and Renewal, Monthly Review Press. New York. 2010.
  • “An Overview of Global Food Trade,” with Hawkes C in Hawkes C, Blouin C, Henson S, Drager N, Dubé, L (editors). Trade, Food, Diet and Health: Perspectives and Policy Options. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2009.
  • Co-author with Jamie Morrison “Economic growth and the distributional effects of freer agricultural trade in the context of market concentration,” in The evolving structure of world agricultural trade: implications for trade policy. FAO. 2009.

Journal Articles
  • “Food security and International Trade: risk, trust and rules” (forthcoming), Canadian Food Studies.
  • “Expanding the possibilities for a future free of hunger”, commentary, Dialogues in Human Geography
2014, Vol. 4(2) 225–228.
  • Burnett, K., & Murphy, S. (2014). What place for international trade in food sovereignty? The Journal of Peasant Studies, 1–20.
  • Co-author with Clapp, Jennifer (2013). The G20 and Food Security: a Mismatch in Global Governance? Global Policy Vol. 4(2). May 2013.