Knowledge for better food systems

Narratives of hunger in international law

The book “Narratives of Hunger in International Law: Feeding the World in Times of Climate Change”, by Anne Saab, explores two different views of hunger in the context of climate change (neoliberal vs. the food sovereignty movement) and how international law affects these narratives.

Publisher’s summary

This book explores the role that the language of international law plays in constructing understandings - or narratives - of hunger in the context of climate change. The story is told through a specific case study of genetically engineered seeds purportedly made to be 'climate-ready'. Two narratives of hunger run through the storyline: the prevailing neoliberal narrative that focuses on increasing food production and relying on technological innovations and private sector engagement, and the oppositional and aspirational food sovereignty narrative that focuses on improving access to and distribution of food and rejects technological innovations and private sector engagement as the best solutions. This book argues that the way in which voices in the neoliberal narrative use international law reinforces fundamental assumptions about hunger and climate change, and the way in which voices in the food sovereignty narrative use international law fails to question and challenge these assumptions.

 

Reference

Saab, A., 2019. Narratives of Hunger in International Law: Feeding the World in Times of Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

For more details, see here. See also the Foodsource resource What is food security?

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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