Entitlement Theory of Famine


To what extent has Entitlement Theory become a complete and widely accepted view about the reasons for the persistence of famine? (800 words)

Reading :

Lecture 8 slides

Devereux S    Theories of famine

FAO (2011) The State of Food Insecurity in the World (available at http://www.fao.org/docrep/014/i2330e/i2381e00.pdf)

UK Government Office for Science (2011) The Future for Food and Farming. See especially Section 6 Ending Hunger (p:115)

What does the lecturer expect from the student ? :

  • Introduction: What are you going to argue and conclude?
  • What is food insecurity?
  • Why do neo-calssical writers see markets as the primary level of analysis and how in this view can food insecurity occur?
  • How successfully did structuralist views as embodied in Entitlement Theory challenge the orthodox approaches to food insecurity. What is this theory and what are its implications in terms of food policy?
  • What are the weaknesses of Entitlement Theory?
  • In your view what are the main reasons for food insecurity and which perspective has the most explanatory value and what are the main policies that will help to reduce food insecurity?

The marking scheme for the exam:

  • Is there a clear structure  with an introduction that sets out what  going to argue and conclude
  • Has the question been answered?
  • Is there a clear focus to the answer?
  • Have the full range of the relevant underlying perspectives been applied to the question?
  • How effectively have the relevant theories/concepts been explained?
  • How successfully have these been critically applied to the question?
  • How much evidence is there of relevant reading/research?
  • How successful is the answer is concisely covering all the relevant material and synthesising the competing arguments?
  • Is there a logical conclusion to the essay?

What I am ideally looking for

  • A clear recognition of the different theoretical schools of thought and what each one has to say about the particular issue/topic
  • Evidence that you have read widely and that you are able to refer to authors
  • That you have developed a logical argument with a clear introduction and structure and a clear conclusion.
  • Better answers will show an attempt to synthesise the arguments and the ability to reconcile competing claims by evaluating both theory and applying this to evidence.
  • Excellent and very good answers will reveal a high level of critical evaluation of the competing perspectives and a clear application to the policy debates.
SKU: entitlement-theory-of-famine-critical-analysis Category: