Them Belly Full (But We Hungry): Food Rights Struggles in Bangladesh, India, Kenya

Hossain, N. et al
Food Riots and Food Rights project report
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This report synthesises the findings from the four country case studies produced for the project. It is intended as a summary introduction to the main findings of the research, and a preliminary comparative analysis across the four cases.

Food rights or food riots?

The green revolution and the global integration of food markets were supposed to relegate scarcity to the annals of history. So why did thousands of people in dozens of countries take to the streets when world food prices spiked in 2008 and 2011? Are food riots the surest route to securing the right to food in the 21st century?

The research synthesised here interrogates this moment of historical rupture in the global food system through comparative analysis of Bangladesh, India, Kenya and Mozambique in the period 2007-12. 

The core insight of the research is summarised in the title: Them Belly Full (But We Hungry) refers to the moral fury aroused by the knowledge that some people are thriving while – or because – others are going hungry. This anger rejects gross inequalities of power and resources as intolerable; it signals that food inequalities have a particularly embodied power – that food is special. Food unites and mobilises people to resist.

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