This collection of twenty‐six papers, presented in three volumes, represents the result of work undertaken at and for the World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER) in Helsinki. This programme of joint research was initiated in the summer of 1985. The first versions of most of the papers were presented at a WIDER conference on ‘food strategies’ held in Helsinki in July 1986. The papers as well as the research programme as a whole were subjected to close scrutiny at that conference. Those discussions strongly influenced the work that followed—both extensive revisions of the papers presented and the undertaking of new studies, which are also included in these volumes.
The objective of this programme has been the exploration of a wide range of issues related to hunger in the modern world. The papers are concerned with diagnosis and causal analysis as well as policy research. The focus is particularly on Africa and Asia, but there are also two papers on hunger and deprivation in Latin America and a few contributions on more general theoretical issues. The full list of papers in the three volumes can be found at the beginning of each volume. Our ‘Introduction’ to the three volumes, discussing the papers and their interrelations, is included in full in volume 1, but the parts relevant for the subsequent volumes are also included in the respective volumes, i.e. volumes 2 and 3.
The tasks of revising the papers and carrying out the follow‐up studies proved to be quite challenging, and the entire project has taken much longer than we had hoped. We are extremely grateful to the authors for their willingness to undertake substantial—and in some cases several rounds of—revisions, and for putting up with long lists of suggestions and requests. The revisions have been enormously helped by the contributions of the discussants who participated in the ‘food strategies’ conference in July 1986, including Surjit Bhalla, Susan George, Keith Griffin, S. Guhan, Iftekhar Hussain, Nurul Islam, Nanak Kakwani, Robert Kates, Qaiser Khan, Henock Kifle, Stephen Marglin, Siddiq Osmani, Martin Ravallion, Sunil Sengupta, Mahendra Shah, Nick Stern, Paul Streeten, Megan Vaughan, and Samuel Wangwe. Carl Eicher's comments and suggestions contributed greatly to the improvement of a number of papers. Very helpful comments and suggestions were also received after the conference from Sudhir Anand, Susan George, Judith Heyer, Nurul Islam, Robert Kates, B. G. Kumar, and François‐Régis Mahieu.
For their participation in the conference, and their help in planning these studies, we are also grateful to Frédérique Apffel‐Marglin, Juha Ahtola, Tuovi Allén, Lars‐Erik Birgegaard, Pekka Harttila, Cynthia Hewitt de Alcantara, Eric Hobsbawm, Charles Kindleberger, Michael Lipton, Kaarle (p.x) Nordenstreng, Kimmo Pulkinnen, Shlomo Reutlinger, Tibor Scitovsky, Darrell Sequiern, Heli Sirve, Marjatta Tolvanen, Matti Tuomala, Tony Vaux, and Hannu Vesa.
For editorial and logistic assistance, we are greatly in debt to Nigel Chalk, Robin Burgess, Pekka Sulamaa, Jacky Jennings, Shantanu Mitra, Sanjay Reddy, Sangeeta Sethi, Asad Ahmed, and Anna‐Marie Svedrofsky. We would also like to thank Judith Barstow for preparing the subject index.
Finally, we are grateful to WIDER for its generous support. We owe special thanks to Lal Jayawardena, the Director, for being immensely helpful at every stage of this project.