Mass Starvation: The History And Future Of Famine by Alex de Waal

The Blurb On The Back:

The world almost conquered famine.  Until the 1980s, this scourge killed ten million people every decade, but by the early 2000s mass starvation had all but disappeared. Today, famines are resident, driven by war, blockade, hostility to humanitarian principles and a volatile global economy.

In Mass Starvation, world-renowned expert on humanitarian crisis and response Alex de Waal provides an authoritative history of modern famines: their causes, dimensions and why they 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.

Hard-hitting and deeply informed, Mass Starvation explains why man-made famine and the political decisions that could end it for good must once again become a top priority for the international community. 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

Can We Solve The Migration Crisis? by Jacqueline Bhabha

The Blurb On The Back:

Every minute 24 people are forced to leave their homes; currently, more than 65 million are displaced worldwide.  Small wonder that tackling the refugee and migration crisis has become a global political priority.

Can this crisis be resolved and, if so, how?  In this compelling essay, Jacqueline Bhabha explains why forced migration demands compassion, generosity, and a vigorous acknowledgement of our shared dependence on human mobility as a key element of global collaboration.  Unless we develop humane “win-win” strategies for tackling the inequalities and conflicts driving migration and for addressing the fears fuelling xenophobia, innocent lives and cardinal human rights principles will be squandered in the service of futile nationalism and oppressive border control.  

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

Refuge: Transforming A Broken Refugee System by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier

The Blurb On The Back:

Europe is facing its greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War, yet the institutions responding to it remain virtually unchanged from those created in the post-war era.  As neighbouring countries continue to bear the brunt of the Syrian catastrophe, European governments have enacted a series of ill-considered and damaging gestures.  With a deepening crisis and a xenophobic backlash around the world, it is time for a new vision of refuge.

Going beyond the scenes of desperation that have become all too familiar in the past few years renowned development experts Alexander Betters and Paul Collier break new ground by showing how international policymakers can deliver humane, sustainable results that are better for refugees and host countries.  Drawing upon years of research in the field and original solutions that have already been successfully trialled, they outline a compelling vision that can empower refugees to help themselves, contribute to their host countries and even rebuild their countries of origin.

Refuge reveals how, despite the media focus on the minority of refugees trying to making it to Europe’s shores, 90 per cent of the world’s refugees live in developing countries, mostly in camps or in urban poverty.  In light of this, their eye-opening book situates Europe’s refugee crisis in a global framework, offering a concrete diagnosis for a system that has, for too long, been institutionally broken.

An urgent and essential work, Refuge shows how we can act for both moral and practical purposes in order to deal with the defining challenge of our time.  

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »