Access to food is humankind’s most basic need, and the “food weapon” refers to all the means employed to voluntarily starve a population. When a country has an export monopoly on an agricultural food staple or a dominant position on such a foodstuff’s market, it can use its management and storage resources to place political pressure on countries importing that product. The food weapon can also be utilized by a central power or a faction, against all or part of a population, in which the pressure that is exerted is an internal one. The different forms of use of the food weapon have been observed countless times in history and, since the middle of the 1970s, contemporary authors interested in development issues have analysed the subject at great length. The subject of the present chapter is to see how, between the 17th and the 19th centuries, the period when the question of food became of central importance, the ﬁ rst economists addressed the issue. This analysis will examine the various forms that the food weapon can take, the economic conditions for its implementation, its consequences, and the means of protection against it when countries are threatened by that weapon. The ﬁ rst part of this chapter will study the mercantilist texts that focused largely on questions of food security and self-sufﬁ ciency, precisely to reduce – or even neutralize – the potentially dangerous effects that they perceived in the food weapon. The second part will turn to the coverage of the subject during the 18th century. Although less centred on international economic relations, the 18th century attended to the question from a more internal perspective (the food weapon used by leaders or private actors against the people or against a segment of the people). In the third part, the chapter will analyse the 19th century as the period that gave renewed importance to this weapon wielded by and against States at a time when France had orchestrated a continental blockade of the United Kingdom. That analysis will be based primarily on the debates on the Corn Laws, debates that incorporated that “warring” dimension.
Scheda prodotto non validato
Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo
|Titolo:||The food weapon : milestones in the history of a concept (17th–19th centuries)|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||02.01 - Contributo in volume (Capitolo o saggio)|