Mass Starvation

Alex de Waal’s new book, Mass Starvation (Polity Books, 2017) is available  through Policy Books. In Mass Starvation, world-renowned expert on humanitarian crisis and response, and WPF Executive Director, Alex de Waal, provides an authoritative history of modern famines: their causes, dimensions and why they almost ended. He analyses starvation as a crime, and breaks new ground in examining forced starvation as an instrument of genocide and war. Refuting the enduring but erroneous view that attributes famine to overpopulation and natural disaster, he shows how political decision or political failing is an essential element in every famine, while the spread of democracy and human rights, and the ending of wars, were major factors in the near-ending of this devastating phenomenon. 

For more about the research that informed the book, access our dataset graphs and other materials related to Famine Trends.