Having examined the right to food and its connection with international trade, this chapter returns to the theoretical framework introduced in Chapter 2. The analysis of trade and hunger is used to reassess and expand on Vincent's take on world society and international society, and on pluralism and solidarism. The expansion helps to expose the potential for international society to eliminate hunger. Following Vincent's distinction (and connection) between 'policy' and 'practice', I differentiate between normative and practical realms.
The normative dimension draws on a positive law approach, where international agreements, if only at the level of soft law, provide a rights framework to the access to food (as analysed in Chapters 2 and 3). 'Normative' refers here to 'standards of behaviour, obligations, responsibilities, rights and duties as they pertain to individuals, states and the international state system; it ranges over all aspects of the subject area, including international law and international political economy' (Evans and Newham, 1997:382).
The practical dimension has been examined in previous chapters and reflects the current state of food insecurity alongside the measures implemented in international society to overcome it.
This overall assessment is carried out within the theoretical framework used in the book: it draws on the pluralist-solidarist debate on international society and clarifies the role of world society, which underpins Vincent's project of basic rights.
The chapter is divided into three sections. The first summarises the main elements of the argument developed so far. The second discusses Vincent's four voices of world society in relation to the normative and practical elements involved in the previous chapters. Section 3 relates the four voices to the pluralist-solidarist debate.
The section of Vincent's work analysed in this book belongs to the last part of his career when he became an advocate of solidarism calling for a cross-