The Political Economy of African Famine: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Political Economy of African Famine

1st Edition

Edited by R. E. Downs, Donna O. Kerner, Stephen P. Reyna


394 pages

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Hardback: 9780367275723
pub: 2019-08-15
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Originally published in 1991. This volume explores the combination of political and economic forces that influence different levels of food supply. The book begins with a discussion of famine theories, ranging from cultural ecology to neo-Marxism. Following this survey is a series of essays by anthropologists, geographers, economists and development practitioners that explores the role of Western institutions in African famine, analyzes famine in particular countries, and documents the relationship between famine and gender. This book takes an unusually broad look at famine by including analyses of countries where hunger has rarely been studied and by examining African famine from both African and Western perspectives. Its concluding proposals for eradicating famine make innovative and provocative contributions to current global debates on food and nutrition.


Review of the original publication:

"A timely and scholarly book which expertly documents how famine in Africa is primarily of human origin and potentially reversable. Deserving of a wide audience; invaluable for professionals and students alike."- Philip Kilbride, Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: Theoretical Perspectives 1. Heart of Darkness: Reflections on Famine and Starvation in Africa Michael Watts Part 2: Development Practice and Hunger 2. Cultural Construction in a "Garden of Eden": The Influence of Ontological Acquiescence in an African Development Project and Its Implications for Food Security Stephen P. Reyna 3. Rain-fed Agricultural Development Project Performance in the Context of Drought: The Western Savannah Project, South Darfur, Sudan, and the Drought of 1984-1985 William I. Torry Part 3: The African Scene 4. Increased Vulnerability to Food Shortage among Fulani Nomads in Niger Cynthia White 5. Western Assistance and the Ethiopian Famine: Implications for Humanitarian Assistance Jason W. Clay 6. A Social History of Food, Famine and Gender in Twentieth-Century Sudan Jay O’Brien and Ellen Gruenbaum 7. Labor, Economic Power and Gender: Coping with Food Shortage in Guinea-Bissau Ursula Funk 8. Food Traders and Food Security in Ghana Gracia Clark 9. Gender, Hunger and Crisis in Tanzania Donna O. Kerner and Kristy Cook 10. Ideology, Gender and Change: Social Relations of Production and Reproduction in Nso, Cameroon Miriam Goheen 11. Sex and Starvation: Famine and Three Chadian Societies Ellen Patterson Brown Part 4: Prospects for the Future 12. New Crop Varieties in a Green Revolution for Africa: Implications for Sustainability and Equity David A. Cleveland 13. What Is to Be Done? A Historical Structural Approach to Warfare and Famine Stephen P. Reyna

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: Food Supply and Policy

Reissuing works originally published between 1952 and 1999, this set provides a wide spread of scholarship on issues surrounding food provision throughout the world. The earlier books look at import and export changes during times when previous trade routes and options changed while later ones mostly consider food assistance policies, poverty and famine, and welfare. These books cover third world studies, economics, anthropology, politics, environment, agriculture and population studies as well as food and nutrition.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / International / Economics
NATURE / Ecology
SCIENCE / Environmental Science