Hunger in the Balance - The New Politics of International Food Aid
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Publisher: CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESS
Publication Date: 2012-03-01
Number of pages: 216
Food aid has become a contentious issue in recent decades, with sharp disagreements over genetically modified crops, agricultural subsidies, and ways of guaranteeing food security in the face of successive global food crises. In Hunger in the Balance, Jennifer Clapp provides a timely and comprehensive account of the contemporary politics of food aid, explaining the origins and outcomes of recent clashes between donor nations—and between donors and recipients.
She identifies fundamental disputes between donors over "tied" food aid, which requires that food be sourced in the donor country, versus “untied” aid, which provides cash to purchase food closer to the source of hunger. These debates have been especially intense between the major food aid donors, particularly the European Union and the United States. Similarly, the EU's rejection of GMO agricultural imports has raised concerns among recipients about accepting GMO foodstuffs from the United States. For the several hundred million people who at present have little choice but to rely on food aid for their daily survival, Clapp concludes, the consequences of these political differences are profound.
Reviews:"Jennifer Clapp's up-to-date book about the international food regime pulls together her own interviews of policymakers at the center of the food aid system with the existing literature on the food policies of the European Union, the United States, and Canada. Clapp provides a sophisticated history of the food regime and deals in a remarkably even-handed way with all of the major current issues related to food aid policy. She capably explains controversial issues and demonstrates not only
why the contemporary regime has such a strange structure but also why much of that structure is likely to persist. If there were books on every aspect of global governance as good as this one is, all of us would be much wiser." - Craig N. Murphy, University of Massachusetts Boston
"Hunger in the Balance provides an insightful account of international food aid and the uncertainty surrounding its future in an era of food scarcity, global trade conflicts, and controversies over biotechnology. Jennifer Clapp's analysis of the food aid issue illuminates key features of the global food system, international institutions, and the politics of development." - Adam Sheingate, The Johns Hopkins University
Table of contents:
1. Food Aid Politics: The Old and the New
2. Past and Present Food Assistance Trends
3. Donor Policies on the Question of Tying
4. U.S. Debates on Tied Food Aid
5. The GMO Controversy
6. Food Aid at the WTO
7. The 2007–2008 Food Crisis and the Global Governance of Food Aid
8. Conclusion: Prospects for the Future of Food Aid Politics
CLAPP JenniferJennifer Clapp is Professor and CIGI Chair of Global Environmental Governance, Balsillie School of International Affairs and Department of Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo, Canada. She is the author of "Toxic Exports: The Transfer of Hazardous Wastes from Rich to Poor Countries" and "Hunger in the Balance: The New Politics of International Food Aid", coauthor of "Paths to a Green World", and coeditor of several books.
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