This book has three main objectives: first, to provide an empirical analysis of how famine developed and was responded to in an arid district over a 15-year period in colonial western India; second, through that, to develop an understanding of the relationship between the state and the peasantry, paying particular attention to the conflict between a developmentalist agenda and the food insecurity of poorer landholders; and, third, to analyse debates and decision-making at all levels of the colonial state with a view to understanding how long-term policy relating to famine prevention and relief was formulated. Thus, famine is used as a basis for evaluation of the internal workings of the colonial hierarchy and of its treatment of a significantly neglected part of its subject population. At the same time, colonial history provides an excellent context for investigation of how famines emerge and linger; of how chronic and sudden, collective and individual, endogenous and exogenous factors combine to create crises and of how crises contribute to further chronic immiseration.1


Food Insecurity Colonial State British Rule Relief Work Single District 
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© David Hall-Matthews 2005

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