Vanhaute.docx - Vanhaute E(Famines Famines are called community crises because they are caused by a cumulative failure of production distribution and

Vanhaute.docx - Vanhaute E(Famines Famines are called...

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Vanhaute, E. (Famines) Famines are called community crises because they are caused by a cumulative failure of production, distribution, and consumption systems. It portrays scarcity and human suffering that is accompanied and aggravated by social breakdowns. It is related to a person’s loss of ability to command over food that signifies their deeper and more enduring tensions and difficulties. It has three notions: a. Event (sudden crisis) b. Process (accelerated destitution) c. Structure (inequalities within societal networks) Detecting and measuring famines Famine is mostly understood as an event, o food crisis as a process, o whereas hunger or malnutrition as a structural feature in society. o However, in reality they are interwoven concepts as the term famine represents the upper end of the continuum whose average is “hunger”. Malnutrition might be seen as a slow-burning famine. Famines are mostly described as shocks, often but not always, linked to natural disasters, ecological shocks, or man made calamities. Famines cause excess mortality induced by either starvation or hunger-induced diseases. A proper famine is an event that kills. As such, it requires an acute and prolonged period of hunger since the human body can resist a lack of food. Devastating famines, are the Great European Famine and Irish famine in the 1840s stand out as exceptional in this respect. However, famine has detoriarated in the last centuries. And this is plausible to link the long-term reduction of the risk of famine in Europe to gradual improvements in agricultural productivity, better communications, a strengthening of local entitlement support and some gains in economic growth and living standards. - Changes in social and economic order in Early Modern and Modern Europe gradually transformed the pattern and degree of vulnerability from ‘exogenous’ epidemics and local subsistence crises to new, structural forms of poverty and disease including airborne infections. - Proletarianization of labor and commercialization of goods and services created new forms of vulnerability such as insecure labor exchange entitlements and a growing dependency on often unstable markets . This created the need for new public goods better, more inclusive protective systems, and established the foundations for Europe’s 20 th century welfare states.

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