The Political Economy of Hunger - Vol. 2

The Political Economy of Hunger - Vol. 2

The Political Economy of Hunger - Vol. 2

The Political Economy of Hunger - Vol. 2


WIDER The World Institute for Development Economics Research, established in 1984, started work in Helsinki in 1985, with the financial support of the Government of Finland. The principal purpose of the Institute is to help identify and meet the need for policy-oriented socio-economic research onpressing global and development problems and their inter-relationships. WIDER's research projects are grouped into three main themes: hunger and poverty; money, finance, and trade; and development and technological transformation. Volume III deals with the strategic options for the elimination of endemic hunger. The topics covered include: the comparative extent of hunger and deprivation in different parts of the world; the influence of food production; the interconnections between economic growth and public support; therole of economic diversification in reducing vulnerability; the potential impact of direct public provisioning on living standards; and the politics of public action. In addition to general analyses, the book examines the international relevance of a number of specific country experiences in Asia,Africa, and Latin America (including those of China, India, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Kenya, Bangladesh, and Nigeria).


This collection of twenty-six papers, presented in three volumes, represents the result of work undertaken at and for the World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER) in Helsinki. This programme of joint research was initiated in the summer of 1985. The first versions of most of the papers were presented at a WIDER conference on 'food strategies' held in Helsinki in July 1986. The papers as well as the research programme as a whole were subjected to close scrutiny at that conference. Those discussions strongly influenced the work that followed--both extensive revisions of the papers presented and the undertaking of new studies, which are also included in these volumes.

The objective of this programme has been the exploration of a wide range of issues related to hunger in the modern world. The papers are concerned with diagnosis and causal analysis as well as policy research. The focus is particularly on Africa and Asia, but there are also two papers on hunger and deprivation in Latin America and a few contributions on more general theoretical issues. The full list of papers in the three volumes can be found at the beginning of each volume. Our 'Introduction' to the three volumes, discussing the papers and their interrelations, is included in full in volume 1, but the parts relevant for the subsequent volumes are also included in the respective volumes, i.e. volumes 2 and 3.

The tasks of revising the papers and carrying out the follow-up studies proved to be quite challenging, and the entire project has taken much longer than we had hoped. We are extremely grateful to the authors for their willingness to undertake substantial--and in some cases several rounds of --revisions, and for putting up with long lists of suggestions and requests. The revisions have been enormously helped by the contributions of the discussants who participated in the 'food strategies' conference in July 1986, including Surjit Bhalla, Susan George, Keith Griffin, S. Guhan, Iftekhar Hussain, Nurul Islam, Nanak Kakwani, Robert Kates, Qaiser Khan, Henock Kifle, Stephen Marglin, Siddiq Osmani, Martin Ravallion, Sunil Sengupta, Mahendra Shah, Nick Stern, Paul Streeten, Megan Vaughan, and Samuel Wangwe. Carl Eicher's comments and suggestions contributed greatly to the improvement of a number of papers. Very helpful comments and suggestions were also received after the conference from Sudhir Anand, Susan George, Judith Heyer, Nurul Islam, Robert Kates, B. G. Kumar, and François-Régis Mahieu.

For their participation in the conference, and their help in planning these studies, we are also grateful to Frédérique Apffel-Marglin, Juha Ahtola, Tuovi Allén, Lars-Erik Birgegaard, Pekka Harttila, Cynthia Hewitt de Alcantara, Eric Hobsbawm, Charles Kindleberger, Michael Lipton, Kaarle Norden streng . . .

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