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According to 1998 Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen, another contributing factor is a shortage of democracy.

"Mr. Sen is famous for his assertion that famines do not occur in democracies. ''No famine has ever taken place in the history of the world in a functioning democracy,'' he wrote in ''Democracy as Freedom'' (Anchor, 1999). This, he explained, is because democratic governments ''have to win elections and face public criticism, and have strong incentive to undertake measures to avert famines and other catastrophes.'' This proposition, advanced in a host of books and articles, has shaped the thinking of a generation of policy makers, scholars and relief workers who deal with famine. "
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9800E5DD103CF932A35750C0A9659C8B63

If those darn African and Asian countries would just adopt western culture, their problems would all go away!

by asdf on Fri Apr 18th, 2008 at 09:43:04 PM EST
Given the lack of functioning democracies it's rather hard to prove him wrong.
by generic on Sat Apr 19th, 2008 at 11:30:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Has there ever been anything remotely resembling a "functioning democracy" in a poor country to begin with? They tend to be a product of rich, stable nations.
by Egarwaen on Wed Apr 30th, 2008 at 09:49:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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