The emerging concept of food sovereignty refers to the right of communities, peoples, and states to independently determine their own food and agricultural policies. It raises the question of which type of food production, agriculture and rural development should be pursued to guarantee food security for the world population. Social movements and non-governmental organizations have readily integrated the concept into their terminology. The concept is also beginning to find its way into the debates and policies of UN organizations and national (...) governments in both developing and industrialized countries. Beyond its relation to civil society movements little academic attention has been paid to the concept of food sovereignty and its appropriateness for international development policies aimed at reducing hunger and poverty, especially in comparison to the human right to adequate food (RtAF). We analyze, on the basis of an extensive literature review, the concept of food sovereignty with regard to its ability to contribute to hunger and poverty reduction worldwide as well as the challenges attached to this concept. Then, we compare the concept of food sovereignty with the RtAF and discuss the appropriateness of both concepts for national public sector policy makers and international development policies. We conclude that the impact on global food security is likely to be much greater if the RtAF approach predominated public policies. While the concept of food sovereignty may be appropriate for civil society movements, we recommend that the RtAF should obtain highest priority in national and international agricultural, trade and development policies. (shrink)
Food-for-work programs distribute food aid to recipients in exchange for labor, and are an important mode of aid delivery for both public and private aid providers. While debate continues as to whether food-for-work programs are socially just and economically sensible, governments, international institutions, and NGOs continue to tout them as a flexible and cost-effective way to deliver targeted aid and promote community development. This paper critiques the underlying logic of food-for-work, focusing on how this approach to food aid and food (...) security promote labor force participation by leveraging hunger against poverty, and how the ideological and practical assumptions of food-for-work become enmeshed within discourses of geopolitical security. I rely on a case study examination of US-funded food-for-work programs implemented in Jakarta, Indonesia following the 1997 financial crisis. The crisis produced acute food insecurity and poverty in Indonesia, provoking fears of mob violence by the hungry poor and the spread of radical Islamism in the post-crisis political vacuum. Food-for-work programs were, in this context, meant to resolve the problems of both food insecurity and geopolitical insecurity by providing food to targeted populations, employment to those otherwise thrown out of work, and resituating the hungry poor in relation to broader scales of local, national, and global power. (shrink)
This article compares two transnational public–private partnerships against hunger and malnutrition, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and the International Alliance Against Hunger with regard to their degree of business involvement and their input and output legimacy. We examine the participation of stakeholders, the accountability and transparency of the decision-making process, and the perceived provision of a public good. We identify a link between business involvement and output legitimacy, and we discuss the implications for public and private food (...) governance. (shrink)
This article argues that hunger in Canada, while being an outcome of unemployment, low incomes, and inadequate welfare, springs also from the failure to recognize and implement the human right to food. Food security has, however, largely been ignored by progressive social policy analysis. Barriers standing in the way of achieving food security include the increasing commodification of welfare and the corporatization of food, the depoliticization of hunger by governments and the voluntary sector, and, most particularly, the neglect (...) by the federal and provincial governments of their obligations to guarantee the domestic right to food as expressed in international human rights law. The interconnectedness of hunger, welfare, and food security issues in a first world society are explored from the perspective of progressive social policy and food security analysis and the development of alternative strategies. In terms of advancing the human right to food in Canada, particular emphasis is placed on the role of the state and civil society, and the social and economic rights of citizenship built on an inclusive social policy analysis and politics of welfare, food security and human rights. (shrink)
" In this study, Garrido establishes the basic elements of the question concerning life through readings of Aristotle, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Derrida; through the discussion of scientific breakthroughs in thermodynamics and evolutionary ...
We have been teaching gender issues and feminist theory for many years, and we know that there is certainly a diversity of views among women, and men, about what counts as feminist or as good for women. Some may see a competent woman running for V.P as inevitably a step forward for women's equality. But consider this.
Since its founding in the nineteenth century, social anthropology has been seen as the study of exotic peoples in faraway places. But today more and more anthropologists are dedicating themselves not just to observing but to understanding and helping solve social problems wherever they occur--in international aid organizations, British TV studios, American hospitals, or racist enclaves in Eastern Europe, for example. In Exotic No More , an initiative of the Royal Anthropological Institute, some of today's most respected anthropologists demonstrate, in (...) clear, unpretentious prose, the tremendous contributions that anthropology can make to contemporary society. They cover issues ranging from fundamentalism to forced migration, child labor to crack dealing, human rights to hunger, ethnicity to environmentalism, intellectual property rights to international capitalisms. But Exotic No More is more than a litany of gloom and doom the essays also explore topics usually associated with leisure or "high" culture, including the media, visual arts, tourism, and music. Each author uses specific examples from their fieldwork to illustrate their discussions, and 62 photographs enliven the text. Throughout the book, the contributors highlight anthropology's commitment to taking people seriously on their own terms, paying close attention to what they are saying and doing, and trying to understand how they see the world and why. Sometimes this bottom-up perspective makes the strange familiar, but it can also make the familiar strange, exposing the cultural basis of seemingly "natural" behaviors and challenging us to rethink some of our most cherished ideas--about gender, "free" markets, "race," and "refugees," among many others. Contributors: William O. Beeman Philippe Bourgois John Chernoff E. Valentine Daniel Alex de Waal Judith Ennew James Fairhead Sarah Franklin Michael Gilsenan Faye Ginsburg Alma Gottlieb Christopher Hann Faye V. Harrison Richard Jenkins Melissa Leach Margaret Lock Jeremy MacClancy Jonathan Mazower Ellen Messer A. David Napier Nancy Scheper-Hughes Jane Schneider Parker Shipton Christopher B. Steiner. (shrink)
I canvass the major contending normative theories /approaches concerning the world hungerabsolute poverty problem by going through a set of questions— some normative, some empirical, and some a mixture of both—in order to elucidate what the germane issues are in this ongoing debate and in order to provide a decision procedure for progressively weeding out the less plausible theories from the more plausible ones until we arrive at what I believe to be the most plausible and well-supported theory and solution (...) to this momentous problem. Theories are eliminated if they are empirically unsupportable in terms of their analysis of the problem (or their recommendations aimed at solving the problems) and/or they are morally unsupportable in terms of not showing sufficient concern and respect for people in the design of the principles, rights, duties, and/or obligations they propose or, alternatively, not respecting the root values of autonomy and fairness. My main conclusion is that although Amartya Sen's capability ethic has made important contributions to moral theory, a Rawlsian theory (such as mine) that specifically accepts a Basic Rights principle is preferable to it since, for one reason, it is less vague in what policies are to be recommended on such issues as world hunger (given the same set of empirical assumptions). I also conclude that although Sen's empirical (economic and socialtheoretical) work on famines, hunger, and absolute poverty in general is to be much commended, it contains claims that are highly suspect. (shrink)
This review looks at Sarah Hoagland's Lesbian Ethics from the position of a lesbian who is also a cultural participant in a colonized heterosexualist culture (la cultura Nuevomejicana) within the powerful context of its colonizing heterosexualist culture (Angloamerican culture). From this position separation from heterosexualism acquires great complexity since the position described is that of a plural self. In Lesbian Ethics lesbian community is the community of separation where demoralization is avoided by auto-koenonous selves. Because heterosexualism is not a (...) cross-cultural or international system but a series of systems some of which dominate over others and threaten their <span class='Hi'>extinction</span>, lesbian pluralism cannot be achieved through the inclusion of lesbians of different cultures, classes and situations in a separating group. Neither the need for nor the value of separation from heterosexualism are undermined by the increased complexity that this position adds to the analysis. (shrink)
Hunger seems, at first glance, to be primarily a biological state, emerging first incipiently and then with insistent, yet extremely varying, sharpness in the wide continuum of sentient and feeling beings. The pervasive lived through, but not necessarily attended to, tonus of somatic well-being is unbalanced by the experience of lack that initiates attempts to restore equilibrium in a cycle that continues until death or its equivalent. Hunger in this sense provokes appetite or appetition. It is satisfied by (...) an appropriate object or even, in extreme cases and with catastrophic consequences, inappropriate objects. Toxicity is specific to the organism. There is no guarantee that what can be ingested can be digested. .. (shrink)
The problem of hunger is a problem of the inequitable distribution of food entitlements. I argue that 'modern' science is implicated in the current form of this problem and that it can only contribute to its resolution, rather than exacerbation, if the forms of its implication are acknowledged. But this requires acceptance of the claim that science is not value-neutral. In part this paper is also an examination, in a particular problem context, of some dimensions of disputes over the (...) value neutrality of science. (shrink)
This essay examines the anti-producing human body in its limit case of public self-induced starvation, as figured in Franz Kafka's short story ‘A Hunger Artist’ and Steve McQueen's film Hunger. Both works represent the fasting body as hollowed out, a resistance to capitalist-spectator capture that spatialises itself as a smoothing, a relative reconfiguration of parts to whole through the evacuation of flows. In both works the human body becomes a local body without organs, paradoxically disarticulated from the more (...) complex assemblages that constitute it while recording potential circuits of disturbance or resonance predicated upon the porousness of bodily boundaries. (shrink)
Analyses of the 'food business' expose some of the most fascinating and disturbing characteristics of contemporary capitalism as well as some of the most significant flaws within contemporary academic discourses; deficiencies in diets are the material manifestations of the deficiencies in common analytical and conceptual categories as well as political will. Much of the voluminous recent discourse about sustainable development is similarly flawed. This paper reflects on the connections between the character of contemporary capitalism and allied discourses on globalisation, (...) class='Hi'>hunger and sustainable development and argues that these connections require a vigorous ethically informed critique. (shrink)
: This article examines Sarah Kofman's interpretation of Nietzsche in light of the claim that interpretation was for her both an articulation of her identity and a mode of deconstructing the very notion of identity. Faulkner argues that Kofman's work on Nietzsche can be understood as autobiographical, in that it served to mediate a relation to her self. Faulkner examines this relation with reference to Klein's model of the child's connection to its mother. By examining Kofman's later writings on (...) Nietzsche alongside her autobiography, this article contends that Kofman's defense of anti-Semitism in Nietzsche serves to fend off her own ambivalence about being Jewish. (shrink)
This paper explains and offers a criticism of the technical solutions that have been proposed in recent years to address Africa's hunger problems, summarizes selected results of some of these approaches, and suggests a more useful conceptualization of African hunger for policymakers. Hunger is a problem with multifactorial causality. As such, it is not given to solution by the sequence of reductionist approaches that have been applied in recent years. Widespread adoption by African governments of ultimately unsuccessful (...) reductionist conceptualizations of hunger has had much to do with foreign aid dependency, the general absence from central policymaking circles of senior government officials with responsibility for hunger-related policies, and political preference for centralized bureaucracy. The paper concludes with some recommendations for community-based strategies of hunger alleviation. (shrink)
In this article I undertake to discover the extent to which five distinct philosophical arguments for “hardhearted” responses to hunger are rationalizations. In each case, I consider the prima facie appeal and then consider the extent to which these appeals can be answered or overcome by principles promoting policies of food equity. I pay special attention to the appeal that pits political self-determination against food equity, because I believe it is especially important to determine the extent to which respect (...) for sovereignty and political self-determination is to be seen as compatible with promoting policies of food equity. (shrink)
Hunger is defined as the inability to obtain sufficient, nutritious, personally acceptable food through normal food channels or the uncertainty that one will be able to do so. After the depression of the 1930s, widespread concerns about hunger in Canada did not resurface until the recession of the early 1980s when the demand for food assistance rose dramatically. The development of an ad hoc charitable food distribution system ensued and by 1992, 2.1 million Canadians were receiving food assistance. (...) In the absence of national monitoring systems, this remains the best available estimate of the prevalence of hunger. Hunger appears to be linked to poverty, unemployment, and numbers of people receiving social assistance. Although the Canadian social security system has traditionally been characterized by government-run universal and targeted programs designed to address income issues, hunger raises concerns about the current “safety net”. The primary response to hunger has been the proliferation of food banks, the agencies at the heart of the charitable food assistance system. On a smaller scale, community-based programs and advocacy initiatives have emerged. Nonetheless, the demand for food assistance continues to rise. The trend raises questions about future directions for social policy in Canada and concerns about the development of a two-tiered food distribution system—one for those with adequate money and one for the poor. (shrink)
Michigan Harvest Gathering is a popular and nationally acclaimed antihunger campaign. It represents a state-sponsored partnership among public, private, and nonprofit institutions “to improve conditions for Michigan's citizens in need". This paper reviews the program, and in the process, critically examines its underlying assumptions about the nature of hunger and helping, about those who are hungry, and about the relationship of agriculture to the remediation of hunger throughout the state. It argues that, in keeping with Michigan's corporatist orientation, (...) the program valorizes the agrofood industry at the expense of sustained public welfare. An alternative approach based on the development of greater local food autonomy provides a programmatic contrast to the elaboration of a “helping” industry designed to deliver emergency food assistance. (shrink)
Come along with David Hinton on a series of walks through the wild beauty of Hunger Mountain, near his home in Vermont—excursions informed by the worldview he's imbibed from his many years translating the classics of Chinese poetry and ...
Sarah Hoagland suggests that through developing the method of "attending" and the ethics of "autokoenony," individual integrity and agency will result. While acknowledging the utility of these ideals for many lesbians and wimmin, I argue that Hoagland's thesis is, regrettably, not universally applicable.
The history of international responses to problems of hunger and malnutrition, while uneven in effectiveness terms, might more accurately be described as a progression of programmatic approaches. These approaches (1) have usually embodied considerable logic based on contemporary understandings, (2) have often been informed by some understanding of causality and by considerations of equity and community-based decision making (not new in nutrition), and (3) have, in turn, significantly informed subsequent approaches. While we must be relentless in our efforts to (...) mobilize greater commitment—and resources—for the alleviation of hunger and malnutrition, we should be supportive, not dismissive, of efforts to assist those in need today. (shrink)
This engaging, interactive and pedagogical introduction to ethics combines the best features of a textbook and an anthology. The Moral Domain: Guided Readings in Philosophical and Literary Texts contains numerous readings from key philosophical writings in ethics along with captivating literary selections that bring the ethical issues to life. Offering extensive excerpts from major figures in the history of Western ethics--Aquinas, Aristotle, Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Mill and Plato--the book also integrates work from non-Western perspectives, including selections from the Bhagavad Gita, (...) Confucian views and Hsun-Tzu. It also represents women's voices with readings by Julia Annas, Sarah Broadie, Carol Gilligan, Martha Nussbaum and others. Literary selections--including work from the Bible, Camus, Dostoevsky, Golding, Sophocles, Tolstoy, Twain and Wharton--enable students to grasp deep ethical concepts at an intuitive level. The Moral Domain features a unique built-in study guide that helps students to better comprehend and interact with the material. It introduces each selection with orienting questions and then intersperses explanations, commentary and study questions (designed to test comprehension and provoke reflection) throughout the readings. Each chapter includes a "Further Discussion and Applications" section that demonstrates how ethical theory affects such contemporary moral debates and problems as abortion, euthanasia, feminism, hunger, warfare and more. An exemplary text for introduction to ethics and moral philosophy courses, The Moral Domain provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to all facets of ethics; its foundations, history, debates and current real-life controversies. (shrink)
Dominant development discourse and policy are based on crucial misconceptions about peasants and their livelihoods. Peasants are viewed as inherently poor and hungry and their farming systems are considered inefficient, of low productivity, and sometimes even environmentally degrading. Consequently, dominant development policies have tried to transform peasants into something else: industrialised commercial farmers, wage labourers, urban workers, etc. This article seeks to deconstruct three key misconceptions about peasants by explaining how and why marginalised peasants around the world face poverty and (...)hunger. An explanation of the process of marginalisation of peasants through the influence of five “mediating factors” is put forward. It is contended that by addressing the mediating factors through policies devised with the active participation of peasants, the marginalisation of peasants would be reduced or eliminated. This would allow peasants to forge an adequate livelihood in rural areas based on their independent farming, and thereby contribute to the achievement of food sovereignty. (shrink)
W e are watching television, and an advertisement for UNICEF, OXFAM, or the Christian Children’s Fund interrupts our favorite show. We grab our remotes and quickly flip to another channel. Perhaps we mosey to the kitchen for a snack. Maybe we just sit, trying not to watch. These machinations may banish these haunting images of destitute, starving children from our TVs and our thoughts, but they do not alter the brutal facts: millions of people in the world are undernourished; thousands (...) die each day; most of those who suffer and die are children, and, with collective effort we could end the suffering of millions without too much strain. At the same time, many of us talk as if we were nearly indigent. Relative to the rich in our society we may be financially strapped. But relative to most citizens of the world, we are awash with money. Given that, what, if anything, should we do, individually or collectively, to alleviate their suffering and save their lives? Most of us interpret this as asking: should we be charitable, and, if so, how charitable? That seems to be the guiding premise of organizations who implore us to send money: they tell us to open our hearts, to be generous, to give of ourselves, to help those in need. The character of their appeal reveals just how pervasive the “charity view” is. W e think that although it would be nice of us to assist the starving, none of us is morally required to assist them—that we have done nothing (very) wrong if we ignore those strangers in need. Indeed, most people assume that if we help, then we are moral heros. (shrink)
Pressuring someone into having sex would seem to differ in significant ways from pressuring someone into investing in one’s business or buying an expensive bauble. In affirming this claim, I take issue with a recent essay by Sarah Conly (‘Seduction, Rape, and Coercion’, Ethics, October 2004), who thinks that pressuring into sex can be helpfully evaluated by analogy to these other instances of using pressure. Drawing upon work by Alan Wertheimer, the leading theorist of coercion, she argues that so (...) long as pressuring does not amount to coercing someone into having sex, her consent to sex answers the important ethical questions about it. In this essay, I argue that to understand the real significance of pressuring into sex, we need to appeal to background considerations, especially the male-dominant gender hierarchy, which renders sexual pressuring different from its non-sexual analogues. Treating pressure to have sex like any other sort of interpersonal pressure obscures the role such sexual pressure might play in supporting gender hierarchy, and fails to explain why pressure by men against women is more problematic than pressure by women against men. I suggest that men pressuring women to have sex differs from the reverse case because of at least two factors: (1) gendered social institutions which add to the pressures against women, and (2) the greater likelihood that men, not women, will use violence if denied, and the lesser ability of women compared to men to resist such violence without harm. (shrink)
Sarah Hrdy argues that women (1) possess a reproductive behavioral strategy including infanticide, (2) that this strategy is an adaptation and (3) arose as a response to stresses mothers faced with the agrarian revolution. I argue that while psychopathological and cultural evolutionary accounts for Hrdy's data fail, her suggested psychological architecture for the strategy suggests that the behavior she describes is really only the consequence of the operation of practical reasoning mechanism(s) – and consequently there is no reproductive strategy (...) including infanticide as such, nor could the alleged strategy be sufficiently mosaic to count as an adaptation. What might count as an adaptation is a ‘window’ before bonding that permits practical reasoning about the reproductive value of infants and hence variable maternal investment, and which, contra (3) arose early in hominid history due to a combination of increases in infant dependency and increased human abilities for conditional practical reasoning. (shrink)