Carl Griffin

Dec 19, 2022

The Politics of Hunger

Protest, Poverty and Policy in England, 1750-1840

Manchester University Press 2020

The eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries were supposedly the period in which the threat of famine lifted for the peoples of England. But hunger remained, in the words of Marx, an 'unremitted pressure'.

The 1840s witnessed widespread hunger and malnutrition at home and mass starvation in Ireland. And yet the aptly named 'Hungry 40s' came amidst claims that, notwithstanding Malthusian prophecies, absolute biological want had been eliminated in England.

The Politics of Hunger: Protest, Poverty and Policy in England, 1750-1840 (Manchester UP, 2020) (Manchester University Press, 2022) by Dr. Carl Griffin offers the first systematic analysis of the ways in which hunger continued to be experienced and feared, both as a lived and constant spectral presence. It also examines how hunger was increasingly used as a disciplining device in new modes of governing the population. Drawing upon a rich archive, this innovative and conceptually-sophisticated study throws new light on how hunger persisted as a political and biological force.

This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.

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Miranda Melcher

Miranda Melcher (Ph.D., Defense Studies, Kings College, London) studies post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with deep analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.

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