7 Malawi’s first famine, 2001--2002

Type Journal Article - The new famines: why famines persist in an era of globalization
Title 7 Malawi’s first famine, 2001--2002
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2007
Page numbers 143-177
URL http://www.cabdirect.org/abstracts/20073207901.html;jsessionid=74492B1CDF945A4ED1C56F97FE71A04A
This chapter assesses the root cause of the famine in Malawi in 2001-02. It assesses the explanatory power of two theoretical frameworks ('food availability decline' and 'exchange entitlement failure') and proposes a new theoretical explanation for the Malawi famine - the 'controlling institution' hypothesis, which suggests that certain powerful groups may have had an interest in creating and perpetuating food crisis conditions in Malawi in 2002. Also examined are three underlying vulnerability factors: demographic/health, economic, and political. The chapter concludes by arguing that the Malawi famine was not simply a failure on the part of those who should have prevented it; it was in many significant respects a 'success' for those who benefited.

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