Famine

After a long-term decline in the frequency and lethality of famines, 2017 has witnessed resurgent international concern over the issue. This paper examines the trends in famine over the last 150 years, with particular attention to the fusion of famine with forcible mass starvation. It identifies four main historic periods of famines, namely: the zenith of European colonialism; the extended World War; post-colonial totalitarianism; and post-Cold War humanitarian emergencies; and asks whether we may be entering a fifth period in which famines return in new guises.
After a long-term decline in the frequency and lethality of famines, 2017 has witnessed resurgent international concern over the issue. This paper examines the trends in famine over the last 150 years, with particular attention to the fusion of famine with forcible mass starvation. It identifies four main historic periods of famines, namely: the zenith of European colonialism; the extended World War; post-colonial totalitarianism; and post-Cold War humanitarian emergencies; and asks whether we may be entering a fifth period in which famines return in new guises.