The Food Riots that Never Were: The Moral and Political Economy of Food Security in Bangladesh
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In 2008, the international media listed Bangladesh among the low-income countries that saw food riots during the global food price crisis. The most notable of these events took place in the pre-monsoon Dhaka heat on 13 April, when workers in the vital export-oriented garments sector took to the streets in a graphic flash of anger at low pay in a time of high staple food prices. Around that time, the government of Bangladesh set in motion efforts to stabilise food prices, to protect those hit hardest by the spike. These efforts were not simple matters: the crisis was global, not easily managed by a single country government. Meanwhile India, the main source of Bangladesh’s rice imports, closed its borders to protect its own citizens. Yet the Bangladesh authorities ultimately succeeded, and their policy choices and the institutional architecture that made them possible affirmed Bangladesh’s reputation for an effective and responsive food (if not nutrition) security policy. This research set out to find out whether these events were causally related: did these ‘food riots’ trigger or activate these responsive and effective food security policies in any sense?
CitationHossain, N. and F. Jahan (2014) ‘The food riots that never were: the moral and political economy of food security in Bangladesh’. Food Riots and Food Rights project report. Brighton/Dhaka: Institute of Development Studies/University of Dhaka
Rights holderInstitute of Development Studies
- IDS Research