Catalogue


The benefits of famine : a political economy of famine and relief in southwestern Sudan, 1983-1989 /
David Keen.
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c1994.
description
xvi, 289 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0691034230 (acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c1994.
isbn
0691034230 (acid-free paper)
catalogue key
424702
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [261]-277) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1994-12:
Keen has done a marvelous job of exposing powerful local, national, and international actors who have variously manipulated the famine tragedy in the Sudan to serve their narrow self-interests. On the local scene, he has ably analyzed how domestic power brokers, namely the merchants, army officers, local and central government officials, and various guerrilla movements in the South benefited from this social tragedy. The unusual strength of the book is the way in which the author has skillfully demonstrated how different regimes in Khartoum exploited Western security perceptions in the region for their own political and strategic ends. Amidst Cold War politics, aid donors feared that linking relief aid with progress on peace negotiations and human rights, might have produced backlash against their vital security interests in the region. This belief encouraged Khartoum to define unilaterally the relief problem and how to solve it and, in due course, to pass judgment on its own effort. A brief comment by Keen on the effectiveness of relief delivery and administration in the wake of the end of the Cold War would have been immensely instructive. Otherwise, the book should be very valuable to international development scholars and foreign aid administrators. S. M. Rugumamu; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 1994
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Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
David Keen argues that famines, such as that which devastated the Dinka of Sudan in the 1980s, often have powerful beneficiaries within the affected nation, including political elites and traders. Meanwhile, shortcomings in the manner of international intervention, while contributing to famine, may offer significant political and bureaucratic benefits for international donors. Famine is not necessarily an apocalyptic natural disaster: it may have functions as well as causes. Drawing on a range of historical information and the accounts of famine sufferers, aid providers, and government officials, Keen explains the causes of the Sudanese famine, extracting vital lessons about the future of effective famine relief.Identifying those Sudanese interests that actively promoted famine and obstructed relief, Keen shows how the assets of the politically powerless Dinka were forcibly transferred to beneficiary groups. In a sense, and contrary to the emphasis of Amartya Sen, it was the Dinkas' wealth,rather than their poverty, which exposed them to famine in a context where they lacked political redress against exploitation. For the most part
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Preface
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Overviewp. 3
Famine and Exploitation in Historical Perspectivep. 18
Victims and Beneficiaries: A Case Study of Famine as a Combination of Exploitative Processesp. 76
The Inadequacy of Relief: A "Policy Success" for Powerful Groups in Sudan?p. 129
The Inadequacy of Relief: The Role of International Donorsp. 173
Discussion and Conclusionsp. 211
Notesp. 239
Bibliographyp. 261
Indexp. 279
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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