Essay about A Brief Note On Famines And Its Effects On Society

Essay about A Brief Note On Famines And Its Effects On Society

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According to Sen, famines are caused due to the loss (or deprivation) of person’s ability to exchange his entitlement, for example, labor, rather than due to food shortage. Since famines prevention is dependent on political arrangements for entitlement protection, a democracy becomes the best form of government that prevents famines. For one thing, a social system that determines how food is distributed has influence in preventing or igniting famines. Above all, the preeminent feature of democracy is that it guarantees freedoms and entitlement for the members of society and those liberties translate into leverage that the they can use to demand a more responsive and more accountable government.
As a matter of fact, no famines happens in democratic countries for the reason that in democracies there are free elections that generate political responsiveness, multiparty politics that put pressure on governing bodies, and investigative journalism that exposes the fallacies of the government. In the case that there are no elections, and no risk of losing power, those in power positions will not be doomed to “suffer political consequences of their failures to prevent famines” (Sen p.180). Furthermore, free press will also help bring out information that is detrimental for governing bodies if they fail to create policies that can contribute to prevention. In other words, the lack of free elections, lack of governmental opposition, and lack of free press puts governments in a perversive position where there is no incentive to be responsive to the threats that will ultimately impact the lower end of society.
Sen claims that democratic governments are efficient in averting the development of famines, but in many countries around the worl...


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... preventing famines, for example post-colonial India, but the country can be ineffective at creating a system that efficiently addresses less-serious issues like undernourishment of its population.
One thing that Sen did not addressed in regards of democracies as efficient ways to prevent famines and catastrophes is the fact that governments may be controlled by elites, and corruption may be present in higher levels of government. As it is often observed, government 's seeming to favor the private sector, as a result, there is the meager provision of public goods. Additionally, it has to be considered that the media is efficient to put pressure when there are mass losses of life, but seems to be less responsive when an issue is prolonged as it is the case of persistent malnutrition. In that sense, democracy fails to prevent what is a pressing problem for society.

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