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This panel critically analyses trends in food insecurity and famine. What’s new and what is politics as usual and - given today’s crises - why is there so little research?
More than 40 countries are predicted to suffer food crisis or famine in 2023, reflecting a trend of increasing famine over the past decade. This has been linked to war, weather extremes, the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as governments’ narrow political priorities. A proliferation of global initiatives, including UN Security Council Resolution 2417 prohibiting starvation as weapon of war in 2018, and Global Food Summits in 2021 and 2023 show recognition of this trend. Over this period, we have seen new technologies, increased private sector engagement, as well as work on ‘mass starvation’ that re-politicises famine as a political act. Yet, few articles have been published on famine recently.
In this panel we explore wider social and political analyses of food insecurity and famine and reasons for limited field research: issues of access, a dispersed research community, or ideas of resilience and protracted crisis? We invite papers critically analysing contemporary causes, assessments, technology, the role of the corporate food sector, the challenges of access. We also invite papers on global and local perspectives, and how new practices play out politically on the ground. We hope the papers can feed into a special issue of Disasters journal.