Scarcity, government, population: The problem of food in colonial Kenya, c. 1900-1952

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Watson, Vanessa en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Duminy, James en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2018-04-24T13:57:39Z
dc.date.available 2018-04-24T13:57:39Z
dc.date.issued 2018 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Duminy, J. 2018. Scarcity, government, population: The problem of food in colonial Kenya, c. 1900-1952. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/27837
dc.description.abstract Food security in Africa is a foremost development challenge. Dominant approaches to addressing food security concentrate on availability and increasing production. This 'productionist' focus arguably limits the capacity of government policies to address contemporary food problems. It does so by obscuring both the specific food insecurity dynamics linked to the continent's ongoing urban transitions, as well as the potential for more systemic food strategies. Yet existing research provides an inadequate historical understanding of how a production and supply-oriented bias has emerged and become established in the African context. This undermines the capacity of scholars and policymakers to critique and reform food security thought and practice. The thesis addresses this gap in knowledge by critically and historically examining the emergence of food scarcity as a specific problem of government in a particular African context: colonial Kenya. Understanding how colonial officials and other actors conceived of and responded to food scarcities in Kenya is the primary question addressed. The specific roles and duties of the state in relation to this problem are also investigated. The thesis employs a Foucauldian-inspired approach to the historical analysis of government and problematizations. Primary data were gathered from archives in the United Kingdom. The argument is that food scarcity, as a problem of government, shifted from an uncertain and localized rural issue to a risk encompassing the balance between market supply and demand at a territorial scale. The role of the state shifted from a last-resort provider of relief to a regulator of maize production and demand, with a focus on ensuring adequate supply for territorial self-sufficiency. Accordingly, anti-scarcity techniques became increasingly economic and calculative in nature, and longer term in focus. This mode of conceiving and addressing food scarcity existed in Kenya by the end of the Second World War, and was stabilized in the immediate post-war period. Elements of this system are recognizable in contemporary food security policies in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa. The thesis contributes to historical knowledge of African food insecurity and colonial government. It moves beyond previous work by focusing on Kenya, and by examining food scarcity as a distinct problem of colonial government. It enhances knowledge of the conditions under which contemporary modes of food governance have come into existence. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Food Insecurity en_ZA
dc.subject.other Colonial Government en_ZA
dc.title Scarcity, government, population: The problem of food in colonial Kenya, c. 1900-1952 en_ZA
dc.type Doctoral Thesis
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment en_ZA
dc.publisher.department School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Duminy, J. (2018). <i>Scarcity, government, population: The problem of food in colonial Kenya, c. 1900-1952</i>. (Thesis). University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment ,School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/27837 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Duminy, James. <i>"Scarcity, government, population: The problem of food in colonial Kenya, c. 1900-1952."</i> Thesis., University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment ,School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics, 2018. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/27837 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Duminy J. Scarcity, government, population: The problem of food in colonial Kenya, c. 1900-1952. [Thesis]. University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment ,School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics, 2018 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/27837 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Thesis / Dissertation AU - Duminy, James AB - Food security in Africa is a foremost development challenge. Dominant approaches to addressing food security concentrate on availability and increasing production. This 'productionist' focus arguably limits the capacity of government policies to address contemporary food problems. It does so by obscuring both the specific food insecurity dynamics linked to the continent's ongoing urban transitions, as well as the potential for more systemic food strategies. Yet existing research provides an inadequate historical understanding of how a production and supply-oriented bias has emerged and become established in the African context. This undermines the capacity of scholars and policymakers to critique and reform food security thought and practice. The thesis addresses this gap in knowledge by critically and historically examining the emergence of food scarcity as a specific problem of government in a particular African context: colonial Kenya. Understanding how colonial officials and other actors conceived of and responded to food scarcities in Kenya is the primary question addressed. The specific roles and duties of the state in relation to this problem are also investigated. The thesis employs a Foucauldian-inspired approach to the historical analysis of government and problematizations. Primary data were gathered from archives in the United Kingdom. The argument is that food scarcity, as a problem of government, shifted from an uncertain and localized rural issue to a risk encompassing the balance between market supply and demand at a territorial scale. The role of the state shifted from a last-resort provider of relief to a regulator of maize production and demand, with a focus on ensuring adequate supply for territorial self-sufficiency. Accordingly, anti-scarcity techniques became increasingly economic and calculative in nature, and longer term in focus. This mode of conceiving and addressing food scarcity existed in Kenya by the end of the Second World War, and was stabilized in the immediate post-war period. Elements of this system are recognizable in contemporary food security policies in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa. The thesis contributes to historical knowledge of African food insecurity and colonial government. It moves beyond previous work by focusing on Kenya, and by examining food scarcity as a distinct problem of colonial government. It enhances knowledge of the conditions under which contemporary modes of food governance have come into existence. DA - 2018 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 2018 T1 - Scarcity, government, population: The problem of food in colonial Kenya, c. 1900-1952 TI - Scarcity, government, population: The problem of food in colonial Kenya, c. 1900-1952 UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/27837 ER - en_ZA


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