Food security in South Africa

Food security in South Africa : Human rights and entitlement perspectives

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The right to food is guaranteed in South Africa's Constitution as it is in international law. Yet food insecurity remains widespread and persistent, at levels much higher than in countries with similar levels of per capita GDP and development, such as Brazil.

In this book, leading local and international researchers on food security and related policy work have come together to create the first systematic and trans-disciplinary analysis of food security and its multiple dimensions in South Africa and the southern African region. Drawing on Amartya Sen's entitlement theory to identify the key drivers of hunger, they see food insecurity as a chronic, structurally based condition rather than only resulting from natural environmental disasters, temporary economic shocks and household vulnerabilities. The authors focus on a range of policy options and choices to provide short-term and longer-term solutions to the systemic causes of unemployment, failing rural livelihoods and traditional subsistence production. They also emphasise the linkages between the social and economic dimensions of food insecurity and use an integrative, interdisciplinary approach to analyse the reasons why these conditions persist and what can be done to address them.

Importantly the book brings together work undertaken at local and national levels in new ways so that policy makers, researchers, human rights advocates and social and economic scholars are better able to make the links between macro- and micro- processes of development.

Recommended for: Scholars, students and policymakers in the social, economic and health sciences and human rights or legal fields; civil society organizations, government and research-based institutions.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 294 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 15mm | 500g
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • English
  • 1775820726
  • 9781775820727
  • 2,634,814

Table of contents

Foreword - Olivier de Schutter, University of Louvain, UN special rapporteur on the Right to food 2008-2014; Preface; Towards new directions in economic and social policy - Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, The New School, USA and Viviene Taylor, University of Cape Town; Key concepts and issues; Right to food in the international perspective - Susan Randolph and Shareen Hertel, University of Connecticut, USA; Is the right to food really necessary? - David Bilchitz, University of Johannesburg and South African institute for advanced constitutional, public, human rights and international law; Who and where are the food insecure households and individuals?; Review of data and trends - Johannes John-Langba, University of Cape Town; Changes in food security in South Africa since the end of apartheid: Evidence using child malnourishment - Julian May, University of the Western Cape; Food insecurity amongst urban households - Jane Battersby, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town; Economic and social policies to strengthen exchange, transfer and production entitlements; Social policies and food security in South Africa: Between relief and the right to food: Some challenges for transformation - Viviene Taylor, University of Cape Town; The gender dimensions of food security: Women's experiences of entitlement and deprivation in South Africa - Chance Chagunda and Viviene Taylor, University of Cape Town; Social relief of distress grant and social policy - Jackie Dugard, University of Witwatersrand; The politics of the right to campaigns in India: Possibilities, limitations and lessons learned - Shareen Hertel, University of Connecticut; Aligning policies to address food insecurity: Institutional challenges and political will in South Africa - Scott Drimie, Stellenbosch University.
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Review quote

This book is particularly important because it addresses key political economy aspects, such as the very limited mobilisation and protest against the failure of government to deliver on the rights to food. --Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Professor at Cornell University.
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About S. Fukuda-Parr

Sakiko Fukuda-Parr is Professor of International Affairs at The New School, New York, USA. She is a well-known development economist, known particularly for her UNDP Human Development reports from 1995 to 2004. She has published numerous articles and papers, and several edited volumes. Her most recent publication is Human Rights and the Capabilities Approach: An Interdisciplinary Conversation (Routledge, 2011).

Viviene Taylor is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Social Development at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She was principal author and researcher of South Africa's first two UNDP Human Development Reports, has published widely in the field of development, and was appointed in 2010 to serve on South Africa's first National Planning Commission as a Commissioner.
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