© 2016

Contemporary Famine Analysis


Part of the SpringerBriefs in Political Science book series (BRIEFSPOLITICAL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Olivier Rubin
    Pages 1-5
  3. Olivier Rubin
    Pages 7-19
  4. Olivier Rubin
    Pages 21-36
  5. Olivier Rubin
    Pages 37-55
  6. Olivier Rubin
    Pages 57-71
  7. Olivier Rubin
    Pages 73-99

About this book


This Brief provides some answers as to why famines continue to torment humankind here in the 21st century despite all our progress in food production, logistics, information dissemination and relief work. Contemporary famines are inherently political, and so the interesting question is not how famines can be prevented, but why they are allowed to develop in the first place; only by understanding the latter, is there hope to eradicate major famines. 

The Brief assesses the various analytical approaches to the understanding of famine, from the classical approaches inspired by Thomas Malthus to the newer economic approaches based on Amartya Sen. While all approaches contribute with important insights on famine dynamics, they also struggle to capture the political dimension of contemporary famines. The Brief develops a political approach capable of addressing this important but messy political dimension of contemporary famines. The approach builds on principles of humanitarian accountability (the moral responsibility to alleviate suffering from famine) as well as political accountability (the interests and power relations involved in famine outcomes).   



Amartya Sen Analyzing Causes of Contemporary Famines Dynamics of Contemporary Famines Economic Approaches Famine Analysis Famine in Somalia Food Availability Decline Approach Historical Famines Political Dimension of Contemporary Famines Political Dynamics of Famine Social Policies Thomas Malthus

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Dept of Society and GlobalisationRoskilde UniversityRoskildeDenmark

About the authors

Olivier Rubin
Associate Professor of Disasters and Global Politics 
Department of Society and Globalisation 
Roskilde University

Bibliographic information

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