Abstract

This article draws on newspaper commentary, Nyaturu hunger lore, and ethnographic research to describe how central Tanzanian villagers accessed food aid from the state during the East African food crisis of 2006. Through leveraging their political support and their participation in national development agendas, rural inhabitants claimed their rights. Yet it was through these exchanges that the state converted food aid into political power. The article argues that the highly ritualized gift of food aid naturalizes a contemporary political and economic order in which, counterintuitively, it is rural farmers who go hungry.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1555-2462
Print ISSN
0002-0206
Pages
pp. 23-45
Launched on MUSE
2009-04-30
Open Access
No
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