The 1995 annual conference of the Development Studies Association (DSA) was hosted by the Centre for Development Studies in University College Dublin. The theme of the conference was famine. This theme was chosen for two reasons. First, because 1995 marked the 150th anniversary of the start of what became known as the Great Irish Famine — a cataclysmic event in that country’s history and one of the last of the big famines in European experience. The second reason why the theme was chosen was because the spectre of famine continues to haunt many parts of the developing world, especially Africa. Famines are part of a wider growth in the number of complex emergencies, both natural and man-made, that are afflicting the lives of so many poor people in the late 1990s.
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