Theories of famines - WikipediaThe conventional explanation until for the cause of famines was the decline of food availability abbreviated as FAD for food availability decline. The assumption was that the central cause of all famines was a decline in food availability. It has been suggested by Amartya Sen in his book Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation that the causal mechanism for precipitating starvation includes many variables other than just decline of food availability such as the inability of an agricultural laborer to exchange his primary entitlement, i. Amartya Sen advances the theory that lack of democracy and famines are interrelated; he cites the example of the Bengal famine of , stating that it only occurred because of the lack of democracy in India under British rule. He further argues that the situation was aggravated by the British government's suspension of trade in rice and grains among various Indian provinces.
Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation
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Drought is today a major instigator of famine disasters that developing countries suffer. Until recently scientists set great store in climatic theories of famine devastation. Over the past decade, climatic determinism has given way to a sociological thesis, putting famines connected with drought down fundamentally to political and economic causes of poverty rooted in colonial and neocolonial forms of capitalism. According to this thesis drought acts only as a catalyst of a situation long in the making. But they attend insufficiently to proximate immediate causes of famine and overlook risks from indigenous village institutions. Further, outbreaks of famine in developing countries opposed staunchly to capitalistic doctrines and practices lie beyond the explanatoru scope of dependency frameworls. These claims are elaborated and then directed to an assessment of research needs presented in the concluding section.