Public Anthropologist‘s suggested reading today is On an Empty Stomach. Two Hundred Years of Hunger Relief.
Research, activism and policy debates on the issue of hunger continue to be high on the political agenda at the global level. Moving away from contingent assessments, especially common in this time of coronavirus, Tom Scott-Smith provides an informative reading to understand humanitarian approaches to hunger in historical perspective.
The book links humanitarianism to the broader context in which it takes place. As the author explains, “My central argument can be expressed relatively simply: that humanitarian practices, even at the most technical level, reflect the social and political conditions of the age. The way humanitarians feed hungry people, in other words, is influenced by prevailing patterns of power, systems of thought, and approaches to governance”.