3.8 Famine.pdf

7 Pages
Unlock Document

International Development
INTD 200
Warren Allmand

3.8 Famine 12/5/12 1:21 AM ‘Famine’ can be defined as a widespread and protracted disruption in access to food, which will result in acute malnutrition and mass mortality unless alternative sources of food are available. Historical Famine Trajectories • Pre 20 thcentury: triggered by natural disasters o Vulnerable: weak markets, underdevelopment, undiversified livelihoods, no food aid th • 19 century: reduced famine due to o increased transportation o integrated societies o nation-states • De-colonization o India: strengthened political accountability for famine prevention; improved food production o Africa: “war famines”, political instability Theories of Famine 1. Malthusianism • Thomas Malthus • 1790s • Population will eventually exceed global production capability • Famine intervenes to regulate population 2. Economics and Sen’s Entitlement Approach • A person’s entitlement to food derives from four sources: production, trade, labour, gifts • Famine is determined by failures of access to food • Poverty and market failures 3. Politics: Famine as ‘act of man’ • Famines affect people who are politically and economically marginalized • Famines are related to lack of democracy o Free, vigilant press o Free and fair elections • ‘Anti-famine contract’ • The role of aid donors o Food aid as a political weapon War and ‘Complex Political Emergencies’ • Famines as a war tactic • Can also be created as an unintended consequence of conflict • Conflicts disrupt agricultural production • War undermines food marketing • Relief interventions are undermined by logistical constraints and security risks Future Famines • Less widespread and less severe • Exacerbated by: o Flawed processes of economic liberalization and political democratization o Rising prevalence of HIV/AIDS o Problematic relationships between national governments and international donors • Caused by failures of: o The weather o ‘coping strategies’ o markets o local politics o notional governments o the international community • All famines are fundamentally political Famines and Other Crises 12/5/12 1:21 AM Causation of Famines • The substantive freedom of the individual and the family to establish ownership over an adequate amount of food o Growing it themselves o Buying it on the market • A person may be forced into starvation due to inability to buy food • Even when food supply in a country falls sharply, everyone can be saved through better distribution of food The focus should be on economic power and freedom of individuals to buy enough food. Entitlement and Interdependence • Undernourishment, starvation and famine are influenced by the working of the entire economy and society • Economic and social interdependences • Food has to be earned • “entitlement”: the commodities over which she can establish her ownership and command • What determines entitlement? o Endowment: the ownership over productive resources as well as wealth that commands a price in the market § Labour power, land, other resources o Production possibilities and their use: available technologies o Exchange Conditions: the ability to sell and buy goods and the determination of relative prices of different products § Operation of labour markets § Can change drastically in an economic emergency • Distributional change • Interdependencies must be noted because the loss of certain parts of the flow will lead to loss in other parts of the flow Famine Causation • For those who do not produce food: o Economic circumstance o Employment o Wage rates o Production of other commodities o Market prices • For those who do produce food o Their entitlements depend on their livelihood o May have to sell more expensive goods for cheaper goods • Shifting patterns of consumption • Unemployment • Famine can occur when no change in fo
More Less

Related notes for INTD 200

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.