Famine is a preventable tragedy. Unlike poverty or chronic food insecurity, famine could probably be eliminated rapidly by a quite simple set of policies. Such policies might be politically feasible. So the abolition of famine is a realistic goal, perhaps by the end of this decade.
There are several reasons why this politically uncontroversial goal will probably not be achieved in practice. One is the continuing insufficiency of good theory about the causes of famine, of good empirical and comparative research, and of good experiments, especially in Africa, with anti-famine policies. This IDS Bulletin, is concerned with how these deficiencies could be remedied.