Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa

Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa

Paperback African Issues

By (author) Alexander De Waal


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  • Publisher: James Currey
  • Format: Paperback | 258 pages
  • Dimensions: 134mm x 212mm x 20mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 1 June 1997
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0852558104
  • ISBN 13: 9780852558102
  • Illustrations note: 1, black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 442,837

Product description

This study argues that humanitarian relief work is a certain kind of political action, and that technical solutions must be evaluated within a political context.

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Review quote

'Famine Crimes is without question the most important intervention in the broad field of famine prevention since the publication of Amartya Sen's Poverty and Famine almost twenty years ago.' - Michael Watts in Development & Change 'This is unquestionably an important book by a writer whose accomplishments as a researcher, critic and activist on famine and on human rights in Africa are widely respected. It is also a book which is causing distress and anger in some humanitarian organizations.' - John Harriss in International Affairs 'If Famine Crimes does not have all the answers, it nevertheless poses many key questions, and it does so by means of a readable, provocative and empirical analysis of crises with which the author has been passionately involved. It is a powerful critique of current practices that will be a milestone in the literature on aid and conflict.' - David Keen in The Times Literary Supplement

Table of contents

Rights and entitlements; the conquest of famine in Africa 1900-1985; a fragile obligation to famine relief; retreat from accountability I; neo-liberalism and adjustment; retreat from accountability II; the humanitarian international - Sudan 1972-93; privatizinf famine - Northern Ethiopia; revolution, war-famine and two models of relief - the end of the Cold War; a new humanitarian dispensation - Somalia 1991-92; famine and relief after the state - humanitarian impunity; Somalia 1993 and Rwanda 1991-92; Eastern Zaire 1996 - the fundraisers' catastrophe; political contracts and humanitarian dilemmas.