ABSTRACT

This chapter examines the responses of three significant perspectives on the social condition of hunger in liberal democracies and locates these with reference to economic, social, and political conditions in liberal democracies. It covers the substantial issues surrounding responsibility for hunger in the midst of plenty. In liberal democracies, the dominant and quotidian rationality of neoliberalism hails some human rights as essential, while disparaging others as inconveniently expensive, reliant on inefficient market interference, or involving overbearing government. Charity responses to hunger appear to exist outside of the market, sanctioned in liberal democracies by neoliberal support for the voluntary action of neighbor helping neighbour. The evident inadequacy of emergency food aid, including food banks, to address hunger in liberal democracies, in the context of neoliberal reforms of the welfare state and broad social policy changes, makes food banks inadequate replacements for governmental emergency food programs.