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First World Hunger

First World Hunger: Food Security and Welfare Politics

Edited by Graham Riches
Copyright Date: 1997
Pages: 200
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  • Book Info
    First World Hunger
    Book Description:

    The publication ofFirst World Hungeris a timely and important contribution to the debate about hunger and poverty in advanced market economies.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-0259-5
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Tables and Charts
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Preface and Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-xi)
    Graham Riches
  5. Contributors
    (pp. xii-xvi)
  6. 1 Hunger and the Welfare State: Comparative Perspectives
    (pp. 1-13)
    Graham Riches

    This book is about hunger and the politics of welfare reform and food security in affluent first world societies. It addresses the nature and causes of hunger, explores government and community responses and examines what can and should be done about it. Its focus is the reemergence of hunger in five advanced industrial states with developed welfare states: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA, and how as the twenty-first century fast approaches the governments of each of these countries have sought to reform their public welfare systems whilst at the same time neglecting the growing issue of...

  7. 2 Australia: Lucky Country/Hungry Silence
    (pp. 14-45)
    John Wilson

    Whilst the hunger of Aboriginal Australians, such as that recalled above, continues to be both a national and international scandal, hunger experienced by many other Australians is best described as hidden or silent hunger, not readily acknowledged publicly.

    Thirty years ago, Horne (1964, p. 220) coined the phrase ‘Lucky Country’ to describe Australia as a ‘nation more concerned with styles of life than with achievement’ and where the principal goal was that ‘everyone has the right to a good time’. And still today, most Australians experience standards of living well in advance of those of nearly all other nations, and...

  8. 3 Hunger in Canada: Abandoning the Right to Food
    (pp. 46-77)
    Graham Riches

    The problem of hunger in Canada in the 1990s is persistent and seemingly intractable. Food banks brought the issue to public attention in the early 1980s. Yet a decade earlier poverty had been rediscovered in Canada (Senate, 1971) and in 1977 the People’s Food Commission was formed in response to escalating food prices and the suffering and misery of low-income Canadians. Yet despite all that has been written and said in the intervening years about unemployment, child poverty and welfare reform, hunger continues to grow. Indeed, to the extent that charity has attempted to meet the needs of hungry people,...

  9. 4 Hunger in New Zealand: A Question of Rights?
    (pp. 78-107)
    Stephen Uttley

    A. H. Boerma, a past head of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in introducing a collection of his speeches which he made in 1974 on questions of food, hunger and development, stated, ‘If human beings have a right to life at all, they have a right to food’ (Boerma, 1976). Whilst this may seem a self-evident assertion to which everyone could subscribe, during the 1990s New Zealand has seen a vigorous debate about such a proposition and its implications for both individual responsibility and government social policy. In a food producing and exporting country such as...

  10. 5 Let Them Eat Cake! Poverty, Hunger and the UK State
    (pp. 108-133)
    Gary Craig and Elizabeth Dowler

    In this chapter, we review the issue of hunger and poverty in the UK. Our particular concern is to explore the extent to which anyone may be said to be in absolute poverty, in terms of not having the resources to eat adequately. The chapter is in four sections. The first reviews the extent and characteristics of poverty in the UK, situating our analysis in a European context where possible. In the second section we examine the role of the British state in deepening and widening poverty in the UK, particularly since the 1979 Thatcher government, and the state’s response...

  11. 6 The USA: Hunger in the Land of Plenty
    (pp. 134-164)
    Janet Poppendieck

    Hunger in the United States has demonstrated remarkable longevity and resilience as a social issue. In this media-saturated culture, social problems tend to come and go like fads or celebrities. In contrast, hunger has been an issue for much of the past 60 years. It was a topic of considerable discussion in the great depression of the 1930s, dropped from sight in the period of relative affluence following World War II, was rediscovered in the late 1960s, and has been on the public agenda, in one form or another, for nearly the last three decades. Each succeeding spate of attention...

  12. 7 Hunger, Welfare and Food Security: Emerging Strategies
    (pp. 165-178)
    Graham Riches

    A number of common themes and some points of difference emerge from this study of hunger in the final decades of the twentieth century in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. Essentially it is a story of increasing hunger and unacceptable hardships, inadequate benefits and punitive welfare policies, government denial and uncoordinated public policy and valiant but inadequate charitable and community responses.

    The case studies provide concrete evidence of the failure of the ‘liberal’ welfare state to protect the hungry and the poor. While each case study presents ideas and proposals about what to do, the fact...

  13. References
    (pp. 179-196)
  14. Index
    (pp. 197-200)