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Cover Poverty and Development

5. Hunger and Famine  

Tim Allen, Shun-Nan Chiang, and Ben Crow

This chapter focuses on hunger and famine. Chronic hunger, famine, and malnutrition are related concepts with different causes. Multiple forms of malnutrition coexisting in most countries require governing bodies to carefully design policies which consider linkages among different types of malnutrition. While 'food security' is still a popular framework to guide the interventions of development agencies and governments, other concepts help us to focus on different underlying causes of hunger. The Green Revolution helped increase global food security in some respects but made many populations more vulnerable. Meanwhile, the entitlement approach helped clarify the cause of famine in some circumstances, but recent famines are mostly a consequence of war and the choices made by governments. Famine mortality has declined dramatically, in large part because of better monitoring and more effective humanitarian assistance. However, acute hunger remains a massive problem.


Cover The Globalization of World Politics

26. Poverty, hunger, and development  

Tony Evans and Caroline Thomas

This chapter examines the contested nature of three important concepts in world politics: poverty, hunger, and development. It explores whether the poor must always be with us, why so many children die of malnutrition, and whether development should be understood as an economic issue. It also considers orthodox and alternative approaches to development as solutions for poverty and hunger. Two case studies are presented: first, Haiti’s rice production crisis; second, multidimensional poverty alleviation in Himachal Pradesh. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that asks whether the neoliberal world order will ultimately deliver on its promise of development and the abolition of poverty and hunger worldwide. One argument in favour of neoliberalism is that it places human freedom at its centre, while one criticism is that declining state social and welfare provision have damaging effects.