Causes and Solutions to World Hunger

Why is Feeding the Hungry Proving to be Such a Difficult Challenge?
In 2012, it was estimated that 868 million people in the world were undernourished.[1] That’s 868 million people out of the 7,065,410,436[4] people that make up the world’s population going hungry on a daily basis, that’s over 12%.

This is a shockingly large number; a number that I feel can be lowered considerably. Feeding the hungry is a problem shared globally, however the effects of this problem are more severe in less economically developed countries (LEDCs). Money plays a large part in power today and I believe those with money and power should lead the way in showing those without to help eradicate the problem, for example: if each MEDC (More Economically Developed Country) gave 1% of their GDP to fund a food program for those without food in LEDC countries, it would make a considerable difference.
Causes of hunger:
Finance: If people can’t afford to buy food, then they simply don’t eat enough; often forgoing meals so their children can eat. Lack of money usually arises from un or underemployment. Those in poorer, less economically developed countries such as Ethiopia (Africa) struggle to gain jobs for steady income due to lack of education and/or lack of job availability. With little to no income, families in Ethiopia, for example, struggle to provide food and other essentials needed to sustain life. With this in mind, families may be left with the impossible choice of what they spend their money on. (For example: Spending money to feed an ill person who will most likely die without treatment is money wasted. Equally paying for medical treatment but not being able to feed them at the same time makes paying for medical treatment useless, as the person is only going to become ill again.)
The way people choose to spend their money will affect whether they are able to afford the correct amount and quality of food. More commonly in MEDC’s such as the United Kingdom families ‘waste’ their money on unnecessary items rather than the necessities to maintain a healthy life.
The country’s level of economic development plays a part. A country with a lower GDP will not be able to aid its people as effectively/at all whereas one with a higher GDP will be able to. However, this is not always the case and we must be careful to avoid over-generalising as in some poorer countries, the rural dwellers have got together to form farming co-operatives and these have proved surprisingly powerful and sustainable in The Gambia [9]. Other factors such as corruption can affect whether a country is willing to help itself or if it is going to rely on the help of others.

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In some places, there is an excess of food. It is estimated that globally we waste 1.3 billion tonnes of food a year. The food thrown away is not only enough to feed all of the undernourished people in the world (Approximately 870 million people [1], 852 million in developing countries (LEDC/NIC’s)) [2] is enough to save 1/3 of the world’s food banks. Wasting food is a huge issue for everyone, especially for those who aren’t even receiving a proper meal daily. It costs money, resources and time to produce food all, of which is wasted in most cases. Producing food has many effects. For example: Agriculture has an effect on global warming, due to high rates of greenhouse gas emissions. 10% of MEDC greenhouse emissions come from producing and transporting food that never gets eaten. [3]




Food Waste /Per capita per year (Approx.)

United Kingdom



7.2 tonnes

United States of America

North America


40 tonnes




5.6 tonnes





Effects of hunger
Hunger has a direct impact on those without food, obviously, however very few undernourished people die from outright starvation. They die from common illnesses such as malaria and diarrhoea because their bodies that have been weakened by hunger, cannot cope. Hunger can increase the severity of simple illnesses because it weakens the immune system. Not only does hunger increase the vulnerability of a person to common illnesses, it increases the risk of infection, meaning the illness has a wide-spread effect.
Hunger can have an economic impact also. It creates a vicious circle that is almost impossible to escape. People are poorly paid due to the limited economic status of the country, this then limits what food they can buy as well as other things such as medicine, people become ill (often common illnesses contracted due to lack of food) and therefore cannot attend work or are less productive in their job (If the person works) meaning they can’t earn as much/any money or pay taxes to their government. This circle then repeats and the overall effect is that the country makes less money and its people earn less money and are unable to buy essential items to survive.
‘World hunger is extensive in spite of sufficient global food resources. Therefore increased food production is no solution. The problem is that many people are too poor to buy readily available food. Therefore measures addressing the poverty problem are what are needed to solve the world hunger problem.’
As suggested in the quote above, simply producing more food is not a solution. Producing even more food will result in more food going to waste, and that’s already a huge problem globally. The challenge we are left with is to supply safe and nutritious food in a sustainable way, globally.
If food was made much more affordable it would help reduce hunger levels. Even those in poorer countries would be able to afford it despite their low incomes. However this may promote food waste since people will be able to afford much more food than they usually would, food which will never get eaten. I think MEDC’s should give short term aid to LEDC’s to help reduce the number of undernourished people in their countries, although I feel that giving money aid isn’t the best solution as the country may use it for something else. MEDC’s should educate other countries and nurture them but not allow the country to become dependent on them. ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’ Anne Isabella Ritchie (circa 1885) – this quote stresses the need to teach to be self sufficient as opposed to being dependent.
There is also another idea that could help to reduce the amount of food we waste yearly. The ‘Pig Idea’ [10]is an idea that we should feed our waste food to pigs. This would be effective as the food wouldn’t be wasted since it’s feeding the pigs. ‘Humans have been recycling food by feeding it to pigs for thousands of years’ – this now has the added bonus of helping british pig farmers who are struggling to make ends meet, as a result of the economic climate.
Charities and Aid organisations already operate in areas where there is a hunger is a big problem. Farm Africa has worked in Ethiopia since 1988 and continues to help the people there by educating them, and showing them how to grow crops as well as giving them food and water.
Case Studies.
In the United Kingdom the causes of hunger are problems like food waste and food affordability. The wealthier people living in the U.K contribute significantly to the amount of food that is wasted annually, because they can afford to buy large quantities of food regardless of the price. However those with lower incomes cannot afford to buy as much food so their food waste is considerably lower. But for some, food affordability is a huge problem. Families can’t afford to buy enough food to feed them due to its ever growing price.
In Ethiopia the causes of hunger are different to that of the U.K. It is producing the food and distributing it to the people that are the problem. Due to climate difficulties producing food can be difficult, since soil qualities are affected. Also difficult climatic conditions (Flood and drought) can damage crops and reduce productivity. Lack of education in the country also adds to this, since poor farming practises are undertaken, which can further ruin the land being used for farming which then eventually will render it useless more than 31 million Ethiopians don’t have enough nutritious food to eat 5]., with annual costs associated with child malnutrition accounting for 15.5% of Ethiopia’s GDP.
Farm Africa is currently working in parts of Ethiopia to try and help their situation. In the Tigray region of Ethiopia Farm Africa [12] are trying to increase food security via pastoral farming. The project is working directly with 2,950 women and 400 landless youths, providing them with crops and livestock as well as training [5]. They are also training farmers and giving them equipment to produce barley of a high quality meaning farmers will receive 10% more than the local rate for the barley they produced. They have also helped link farmers to Diageo (An international business that brews beer). Farm Africa is also helping communities find new ways of earning a living using the forest’s natural resources eg making bamboo furniture and harvesting wild coffee.
They are also collaborating with the government to design a pilot project to protect 500,000 hectares of forest. This means Ethiopia could benefit from important work to preserve the forest, avoiding further emissions of carbon, and slowing climate change.
Future Scenario: I feel that if this work continues, although it may take time, it will greatly help reduce the amount of undernourished people in Ethiopia and create sustainable life there. Not only do I think it will help reduce malnutrition statistics but I think it will help Ethiopia grow economically and increase their level of understanding and education which in turn will benefit the country greatly.
In Kenya the causes for hunger are mostly physical ones, with climatic effects playing a large part in it. Two-thirds of Kenyans depend on the crops they grow and the animals they keep for their livelihoods and survival [6]. However, with prolonged drought killing livestock and withering crops, nearly four million people are at risk of serious hunger, especially in the northern and Rift Valley regions. This leaves small scale farmers and pastoral nomadic tribes-people vulnerable to hunger. Farm Africa is working with these vulnerable groups to help them find a way out of the spiral of poverty.
They are teaching farmers techniques to help conserve water and soil, and by introducing drought-tolerant crops to them. New methods for capturing rainwater are being introduced by NGOs. Those trained can then disseminate these techniques throughout their community and this knowledge passed on to future generations. Selected farmers are provided with high-quality seeds for drought-tolerant crops. These seeds then produce healthy crops and farmers collect and store seeds from the harvest to use the following season. The more widely available these become, the more reliable and food secure communities can become too.
Future Scenario: I believe that if this work continues it will greatly help reduce the amount of undernourished people in Kenya. The continuation of the help will ensure food security for all, regardless of climatic changes.
Global Scenarios
If global hunger isn’t managed further, as our world’s population continues to grow, the problem will become so big that I don’t think it could be managed solved.




If nothing is done to try to manage the hunger problem.


As the global population grows, so does the number of malnutrition. It is going to become even more difficult to manage this problem and the effects it has on people. We simply cannot keep up with the amount of illnesses that will be caused because of malnutrition, making death on an enormous scale inevitable even more so in LEDC’s.

If we were to lower the price of food

More people would be able to afford more or a better quality of food, which would certainly improve the hunger problem.

However, lowering the price of food may create more problems than solutions. For example, in most LEDC’s such as Ethiopia where agriculture accounts for 46.6% of the country’s GDP lowering the price of food is going to hinder the country’s economic development. Since farmers will be getting less money for the crops they sell meaning they have even less income for essentials things for themselves and their families.

Ensuring that every person in the world is fed is an absolute must, arguably more so than educating them although to some extent the two are inextricably linked. This issue has had global prominence since the year 2000 and the millennium development goals and although we have made great strides there is still a long way to go, indeed one in eight people still go to bed hungry, despite major progress. [7] Unfortunately the causes of hunger are wide spread and complex so there is no one quick way of fixing the problem. That said, if we can promote a reduction in food waste by those that have more than enough and supply and educate those that are lacking, we will be heading in the right direction.
From investigating this topic I now have a personal goal to reduce the amount of food that I and those around me waste. I plan to visit local restaurants such as that of my school to investigate how much food is wasted, what is done with that waste food and help them to consider ways which might help them to lower it. I will be looking to find local pig farmers/smallholdings who might be able to make use of such waste food. I have also realised how fortunate I am never to have been truly hungry, even though I often claim to ‘be absolutely starving’, especially when on last lunch at school!
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Appropriate Responses to Prisoner Hunger Strike

Imprisonment and Human Rights
Discuss the appropriate response to a prisoner who goes on hunger strike. Is it ever justified to force feed a prisoner who refuses to eat?
Hunger strike is a dilemma for prison authorities. It is like two sides of a coin, they have to make a choice, to save the life of the prisoners or to let them die. Prisoners’ hunger strike has been conducted for years in many parts of the world aimed to reach certain goals, solidarity, political struggle and to express opinions. States have the responsibilities to maintain prison security while at the same time preserving the health and well-being of prisoners on hunger strike.

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The relevant legal framework on state responsibility in the issue of hunger strike and force feeding is the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 2 on the Right to Life and Article 3 prohibition of torture, and for the United Kingdom Human Rights Act 1998 under the same articles. Other related provision would be Article 8 on the right to private life (ECHR).
The duty of the prison authorities to preserve prisoner’s health and life, including conducting force administering food best described in Leigh v Gladstone (1909). During that period of time the Home Secretary had the obligation and the power to prevent prison suicide including force-feeding prisoners who went on hunger strike. Suicide, abetting and aiding of ‘suicide’ was considered a criminal act.
Lord Alverstone CJ states that “it was the duty of prison officials to preserve the health of prisoners in their custody and that duty extended to force feeding” In this case Article 2 prevails under the condition that suicide is an act of crime. In the case of R. , S. , A. and C v. Portugal, the European Commission on Human Rights found that it was “certainly disturbing that such along time could have elapsed without the applicants being put under medical supervision”
There is a fine line to distinguish hunger strike from suicide, and it is not an easy task. Most philosophers argue that “suicide can be accomplished by passive means, such as refusal to eat” As hunger strike could lead to the possibility of death, it is still a question whether it is an act of suicide or merely an exercise of right of self determination. John Williams’s hunger strike categorizations may give a clear description on the motive and the type of hunger striker.
However, he also realizes that placing a prisoner within one of the categories is difficult particularly in analysing the situation when “death is a possibility, although not an objective” and “death is the desired objective”. Thus Annas observes that the courts have concluded that a refusal of treatment that inevitably leads to death is not a suicide.
The most important example is the 1981 Irish hunger strike where it was carried out to achieve certain objectives and realizing that the result could lead to death. It was clear that the objective of the Irish hunger strikers was to get the political status which they desire, and the primary motive is not suicide.
Dolores Dooley-Clarke pointed out an interesting question, if death resulted from prisoner political protest, could it be a suicide or murder? She elaborates that none of the above fits hunger strike categorisation. In the case of Irish hunger strike and other similar prisoner political protest, Dolores Dooley-Clarke suggests that “the capacity to plan a hunger strike and state one’s intention (…) is not characteristics of all suicide attempts-some suicides depend on impulse or diminished awareness of the full implications of the act. “
Thus, many psychiatrists support the statement that suicide does not fits to the categorisation of hunger strike. Robert Daly, professor of psychiatry at University College, Cork, believes that nothing is achieved or clarified by simply equating hunger strikers with attempted suicides related to schizophrenia or chronic drug addiction. In line with the above statement, British Medical Association states that a hunger strike lead to death cannot be regarded as suicide.
Thus, it is tricky to implement the correct treatment to the prisoner who goes on hunger strike where motive could be deceitful. As Annas elaborates, “motivation is the most crucial distinction between patients who refuse treatment and prisoners who refuse to eat. Because the latter generally seek either to manipulate the prison system for their own benefit or to commit suicide. “
If the motive is solely to die due to there is no other alternative method of suicide other than starving himself to death, than the suicidal motive is clear. If that is the case, the prison authorities have the power to intervene and save ones life. This responsibility to prevent prisoner suicides was considered by the House of Lords, in the words of Lord Hope: “The duty of those who are entrusted with his custody is to take reasonable care for his safety while he remains in their hands.
If it is known that he may engage in self mutilation or suicide while he is in their custody, their duty is to take reasonable care to prevent him from engaging in these acts so that he remains free from harm until he is set at liberty. This duty is owed to the prisoner if there is at risk, irrespective of whether he is mentally disordered or of sound mind. It arises simply from the act that he is being detained by them in custody and is known to be at risk of engaging in self-mutilation or of committing suicide. “
However, it became a complicated issue since most of hunger strikers have a specific objective, to protest or to change policy and demand their request to be heard or fulfilled by the competent authorities.
Prison authorities rely on doctor or medical officer to decide whether the prisoners should be fed artificially, on the other hand, doctors have certain medical ethics not to force-feed them and must respect “prisoner’s autonomy and right to accept or refuse medical care”. World Medical Association Malta Declaration declared that force-feeding is a form of inhuman and degrading treatment.
Article 5 of the 1975 World Medical Association Tokyo Declaration states that doctors must not undertake force-feeding under any circumstances: “Where a prisoner refuses nourishment and is considered by the physician as capable of forming an unimpaired and rational judgment concerning the consequences of such a voluntary refusal of nourishment, he or she shall not be fed artificially. The decision as to the capacity of the prisoner to form such a judgment should be confirmed by at least one other independent physician. The consequences of the refusal of nourishment shall be explained by the physician to the prisoner. ” Prisoner’s right to be informed on the risk that may cause from such treatment is protected by Article 8 ECHR.
Force-feeding likely to be seen as inhuman degrading and amount to torture due to the painful method carried out in its procedures. During the Greek civil war force-feeding caused horror and led the prisoners to stop the hunger strike, not only it is terrifying but it could also result to death. In recent case, the horrific image of force-feeding again could be seen on the hunger striker prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.
As Lawrence Altman stated, “force-feeding is likely to involve “dragging” the prisoners to the site of feeding, and using physical restraints to present the removal of the feeding tube. Placing the tube may also be “tricky” and could result in fatal complications should it enter the trachea” Taking into account the high stakes place into the shoulder of the medical officer, their ethical integrity must also be protected. The relation between prisoner hunger striker patient and the medical authorities thus become complicated.
State has the obligations to preserve ones life and to prevent suicide, and at the same time to respect absolute right of freedom from torture. In the case of Nevmerzhitsky v Ukraine, it was held that there had been a violation to Article 3 of ECHR, “the force feeding of the applicant, without any medical justification (…. ), constituted treatment of such a severe character warranting the characterizations of torture. ” The medical necessity of force-feeding emphasized in this case.
Looking into the judgement, it seems that force-feeding indeed can be justified in certain way. The term medical necessity amounted to a way for the prison authorities to place the burden on the medical officers to make the decision. This could be portrayed in the response of Home Secretary, Roy Jenkins (1975) in the case of force-feeding against Ian Brady: “The responsible medical officer has decided, on the basis of his professional judgment that Ian Brady should be fed artificially. (…) I could not interpose myself between the clinical judgment of a doctor and his patient. “
The court found that there has been no violation to Article 3 of ECHR in the case of A v Germany. In A v Germany, the commission underlined that “force-feeding is even obligatory if an obvious danger for the individual’s life exist. ” Given the obligations of states parties to secure the right to life under Article 2 of ECHR, the commission justified the act of force-feeding.
Personal mentality of the hunger striker thus become a focal point for doctors and physician to determine whether the person has the mental capability to make his own judgment and decision to hopefully end his actions in a reasonable time. In Herczegfalvy v Austria, force feeding of a prisoner was justified on the basis of therapeutic and medical necessity.
Mr Herczegfalvy was diagnosed suffering from paranoia querulans, in the view of medical judgement he was incapable to make the decision for himself. Regardless his refusal to consent any medical treatment and examination that would be conducted upon him, the court on the above circumstances found no violations to Article 3 of ECHR against force administering food. Article 3 on prohibition on torture and Article 2 on the right to life (ECHR) conflicted with one another in this matter.
In the case of hunger strike, medical treatment plays a key role, it has dilemmas when the treatment contrary to the patient’s wish, no consent given from the patient, and how far is such treatment could be amounted to violate one person dignity thus subject to inhuman, degrading treatment, and torture. Doctors have freedom to engage clinical judgment to its patients, however as Dolores pointed out, it becomes a dilemma as “the freedom of clinical judgment is a two-edged sword: the ethical beliefs of the doctor may conflict with a prisoner’s patient expressed wishes not to be treated. “
Prison authorities and medical officers must in any way approach the hunger striker and inform them on the risk for pursuing hunger strike or the risk on force-feeding, here the right to respect the private life (Article 8) should be “clearly engaged in situations concerning disclosure of information that will enable individuals to make decisions that may have an impact on their health”.
In 1981 Irish hunger strike, the British Government decided not to force-feed the hunger striker. Margaret Thatcher refused to give any concessions and stated “We are not prepared to consider special category status for certain groups of people serving sentences for crime. Crime is crime is crime, it is not political”. 10 hunger strikers died to defend their “five demands”.
In Robb v Secretary of State for the Home Department, the wish of the hunger striker, who had a sound of mind and the capacity to understand the risk and the consequences of his decisions, to refuse the medical treatment should be respected. J Thorpe stated: “The first principle is that every person’s body is inviolate and proof against any form of physical molestation. (…) Secondly, the principle of self-determination requires that respect must be given to the wishes of the patient.
So that if an adult of sound mind refuses, however unreasonably, to consent to treatment or care by which his life would or might be prolonged the doctors responsible for his care must give effect to his wishes even though they do not consider it to be in his interest to do so. ” In contras to Leigh v Gladstone (1909) case, in Robb case the secretary of state was granted the declarations that medical and prison staff could lawfully abstain from their responsibility from taking force artificial food or prolonging the life of the patient in the basis of the patient’s refusal to the medical treatment. Here, Andrew Grubb suggested that in view of the above resulted to the decision in Robb case that there’s no obligation for the prison authorities to intervene.
State has the interest in preventing suicide and preservation of life. In Airedale NHS Trust v Bland refusal of a medical treatment is not a suicide or aiding a suicide. Sir Thomas Bingham M.R pointed out “when the patient was adult and of sound mind, a doctor discontinues artificial feeding after three years and the patient dies. Has the doctor aided and abetted suicide? I think the answer plainly is that he has not. ” In Re:’W’, the prisoner patient concern with a sound mind has the mental capacity to make decisions on his behalf and therefore his refusal to medical treatment will be respected even if it would lead to his death. As elaborated in the above cases, it was found that “the right of an individual to refuse treatment strongly outweighs the interest in the preservation of life”.
Similar to the above cases, in the United States, Supreme Court of California in the case of Thor v Superior Court held that a competent patient (prisoner) has the right to accept or to refuse medical treatment even at the risk of death. Here, the right to exercise self-determination prevails in a condition of a competent patient. In R. v.Collins and Ashworth Hospital Authority ex p. Brady, Brady argues that the force-feeding was unlawful taking into account that he is mentally competent. As mentioned on the above case laws, a “competent prisoner cannot lawfully be force-fed”. However, in Brady’s case, the hospital expert’s observation on his mental incapacity justified the lawfulness of the force-feeding conducted upon him.
Personal motivation, mental capacity, and the consent of the prisoner hunger strikers is the main points that would be taking into account for the prison authorities and the medical staff to make their decision. Force-feeding of the prisoner who goes on hunger strike should be carried out in accordance to the points above. Motivation and sound of mind of the hunger striker determine the objective of such actions to differentiate it from suicide.
As in Robb case, the prison authorities and medical staff are avoid from unlawful act for being abstain of conducting a medical treatment in the basis of refusal of prisoner with a sound mind. While in Brady‘s case, force-feeding was conducted in concern of the prisoner’s motivation to commit suicide by starving himself to death. In regards to the patients with a sound of mind, the right of self determination prevails, and therefore to administer food in force is not justified. However, in certain cases such as Brady’s, force-feeding is justified in the basis of preserving ones life.
In view of prohibition of torture, it is clear that force-feeding is so horrific thus lead to inhuman and degrading treatment, therefore prison authorities and medical officers should inform the hunger striker patients on the risk of such action. Article 2 on the right to life would only prevails Article 3 on prohibition of torture if there’s a definite reason on the basis of medical necessity and the inability of the patients to make a decision for them. In regards of cases where death is the primary objective, such as Brady‘s, preserving ones life comes first before self determination. The prisoners’ right to refuse any medical treatment or force-feeding should be respected, nevertheless it should be noted that medical necessity and mental incapacity would play a key role on making the decision to outweigh that right.
Gudmundur Alfredson and Katarina Tomaševski (eds), A Thematic Guide To Documents on Health and Human Rights (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers) (1998)
Human Rights Watch, Prison Conditions in the Soviet Union: A Report of Facilities in Russia and Azerbaidzhan (New York: Human Rights Watch) (1991)
Kieran McEvoy, Paramilitary Imprisonment in Northern Ireland: Resistance, Management, and Release (New York: Oxford University Press) (2004)
Human Rights Watch, Africa Watch Prison Project, Prison Conditions in South Africa (New York: Human Rights Watch) (1994)
Fran Lisa Buntman, Robben Island and Prisoner Resistance to Apartheid (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) (2003)
John Wadham, Helen Mountfield, and Anna Edmundson, Blackstone’s Guide to The Human Rights Act 1998 (Oxford: Oxford University Press) (2003), p. 49.
Barbara Harvey and John Marston, Cases and Commentary on Tort (4th Edition) (Essex: Pearson Education Limited) (2000)
European Convention on Human Rights and its Five Protocols, available at
As cited in R v Secretary of State for the Home Department v Robb [1995] 1 All ER 677, available at
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in cooperation with the International Bar Association, Professional Training Series No, 9 Human Rights in the Administration of Justice: A Manual on Human Rights for Judges, Prosecutors and Lawyers(New York: United Nations Publications) (2003), p. 345
Norman L. Cantor & George C. Thomas, The Legal Bounds of Physician Conduct Hastening Death in the USA, in Yoram Distein (eds), Israel Yearbook on Human Rights (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers) (2000)
John Williams, Hunger-Strikes: A Prisoner’s Right or a ‘Wicked Folly’, The Howard Journal vol. 40 no. 3 (2001)
George J. Annas, Law and the Life Sciences: Prison Hunger Strikes: Why the Motive Matters, The Hastings Center Report vol.12 no. 6 (1982), p.21-22.
Dolores Dooley-Clarke, Medical Ethics and Political Protest, The Hastings Centre Report vol. 11 no.6 (1981)
British Medical Association, Medicine Betrayed: The Participation of Doctors in Human Rights Abuses (London: Zed Books) (1998)
George J. Annas, Loc. cit
British Medical Association, Loc. cit
World Medical Association Declaration on Hunger Strikes (1991) (1992) (2006), Article 21, available at
The World Medical Association Declaration of Tokyo, Guidelines for Physicians Concerning Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Relation to Detention and Imprisonment (1975), Article 5, available at
Polymeris Voglis, Becoming a Subject: Political Prisoners during the Greek Civil War (New York: Berghahn Books) (2002), p. 193.
David Rose, Scandal of force-fed prisoners, The Observer, January 8, 2006, available at
Lawrence Altman as cited by George J. Annas, Law and the Life Sciences: Prison Hunger Strikes: Why the Motive Matters, The Hastings Center Report vol.12 no. 6 (1982), p.22
Nevmerzhitsky v Ukraine , available at >
Jenkins, as cited by John Williams, op. cit, p.285 A v Germany, available at
Herczegfalvy v Austria, available at
Dolores Dooley Clarke, op. cit, p.7
Jane Wright, Tort Law and Human Rights (Oregon: Hart Publishing) (2001), p. 66
R v Secretary of State for the Home Department v Robb , op. cit
Ibid. see
As cited in Rosamund Scott, Rights, Duties and the Body: Law and Ethics of the Maternal-Fetal Conflict (Portland Oregon: Hart Publishing) (2002), p. 136

Application of Agnew’s Strain Theory to The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games begins on the day of the reaping in District 12, the poorest region of Panem. The protagonist, Katniss Everdeen lives in the impoverished part of her district, the Seam, with her sister Prim, who is 4 years younger, and her mother, both of whom have depended upon Katniss for survival ever since Katniss’ father died in a mine explosion when she was 11 (Trant, 2015). The reaping is a nerve-wracking time because it determines which boy and girl, ages 12 to 18, will serve as the district’s tributes in the Hunger Games. Two tributes are drawn in each of the 12 districts, and those tributes are sent to an arena where they fight until only one tribute remains alive (Trant, 2015). The victor and their district are gifted many gifts, most importantly food. The Games, put on by the Capitol, are meant to remind the citizens of the Dark Days and how the 13th district was eliminated for its rebellion against the tyrannical and cruel Capitol as well as reprimand the 12 districts of Panem. Against all odds, Prim’s name is selected at the reaping. Katniss volunteers to take the place of her younger sister and becomes District 12’s girl tribute for the 74th Hunger Games (Trant, 2015). Peeta Mellark is selected as the other participant. After the opening ceremonies, the tributes begin their training. Finally, the time comes to start the Games. Everyone disperses and Katniss befriends Rue, a little girl from District 11 and forms a bond. Sadly, Rue is quickly killed by another Tribute.

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Towards the end, when most of the Tributes have killed each other Katniss finds herself and Peeta in a stressful situation in which Cato from District 2 is attacking them. Katniss sees that there are strange creatures going after him, and they all run to a high mountain seeking protection. The creatures are mutant animals created by the Capitol specifically to terrorize the Tributes. Using this moment of vulnerability and weakness, Cato attacks Peeta, but Katniss and Peeta manage to push him over the edge of the mountain (Trant, 2015). The creatures start to eat Cato alive, but because of the protective covering he is wearing he stays alive until Katniss shoots him to put him out of his misery. Just as Katniss and Peeta think they have won; another announcement is made that there can only be one winner again. Neither Katniss nor Peeta will kill the other, so Katniss takes out poisonous berries she had kept in case she needed them. Just as she and Peeta pop them in their mouths, the announcer shouts for them to stop and declares them both winners (Trant, 2015). Katniss and Peeta go back to the Hunger Games’ headquarters and Katniss is in a separate room to recuperate from the injuries. When she is let out, Haymitch tells her that after what she did, her life has been placed in a troublesome situation. The Capitol took her stunt with the berries as an act of defiance, so in order for her to stay alive and have her life spare, she has to persuade everyone into thinking that she was desperate at the thought of losing Peeta and not being rebellious. 
According to Agnew’s general strain theory when the strain lowers the amount of social control on an individual, the person is more likely to cope with crime. In the film, The Hunger Games, is visible that Katniss resorts to illegal means to be able to provide for her family. She decides to illegally hunt animals in the forbidden area of the District to then sell them in the black market. Her mother is known to have neglected both Katniss and Primrose after her father died. The mother did not provide any consolation or sympathy for her daughters when they needed her the most. The little direct control and lack of emotional bond Katniss had with her mother steered her towards deviant acts. Katniss was trying, in a non-conventional way, to move on with their lives after her mother failed to provide a traditional way of living. Katniss’s mother was the only authoritative figure she had left in her life, but she failed on supervising Katniss’s behavior and correct it. Katniss did not care what others thought about her deviant actions as she did not have any investment into conventional institutions, she was rather preoccupied on hunting illegally. Katniss’s social bonds were not strong because of the lack of social control from her mother.
The purpose of the Hunger Games is to punish the citizens from a past rebellion against the Capitol. The Hunger Games remind the Districts of the Capitol’s power and lack of forgetfulness, forgiveness, and remorse for the failed rebellion. One of the strategies Agnew’s general strain theory uses to reduce the likelihood of individuals responding to strain with crime is increasing social control. With the creation of the Hunger Games, the Capitol has established total control over what citizens do in each District and has also created a constant reminder that they must behave accordingly by the rules. Another strategy according to Agnew is increasing social support. Throughout Katniss’s experience in the Hunger Games, there was no social support that could help her steer away from engaging in criminal activities. Even her one and only friend Gale encouraged her to participate in the illegal hunting. Both of them went together to the prohibited area to hunt. Instead of advising Katniss of the dangers of their acts, he was also steered towards it.
Agnew’s definition of general strain theory argues that there are multiple sources of strain. The stressors lead to crime which then helps the individual or individuals cope with, reduce, or escape strain and negative emotions. Agnew defines strain as conditions or events that are disliked by the individual. There are three categories of strain – failure to achieve positively valued goals, loss of positively valued stimuli and presentation of negative stimuli. After Rue’s death Katniss loses the positively valued stimuli. She saw Rue as an unfortunate little girl that had been forcibly selected to participate thus Katniss had decided to protect her until the end despite there only being one winner. Katniss saw in Rue what could have been her younger sister had she not volunteered to participate instead in the Hunger Games. The presentation of negative stimuli is the years of abuse Katniss had endured from the Capitol’s strictness. She was left to live in complete poverty, barely surviving. Agnew explains that the negative stimuli could cause individuals to engage in delinquent behavior as a way to escape or avoid, terminate, or seek revenge against the negative stimuli. In this case, Katniss’s illegal hunting could also be interpreted as a way of trying to cope with the strain she lives in. Never being able to live a conventional life leads Katniss to fail at achieving the positively valued goals. Instead of having access to middle class resources, she was under the economic status that would allow her to achieve the level of social standard she needed to reach. Her family was poor and did not have much income.
At the final scene, when Katniss and Peeta both almost eat the poisonous berries that was the ultimate rebellious move they made. The Capitol is known for hosting the nation’s most wealthy and powerful citizens. The president Coriolanus Snow possesses total power in Panem’s government and has proven to be a cruel and manipulative dictator, ruling over the Capitol and its contained districts. In order for Katniss to defy the Capitol and the president, she resorted to risking her life and Peeta’s to prove her point that something must be done to stop the president from the dictatorship he has been carrying. Katniss knew that they would not have allowed for both of them to die as that would mean thousands of dollars lost in bets placed on who would win, and it would also defeat the purpose of the Hunger Games; entertain the audience with the survival of one sole winner. Through strain Katniss and Peeta create a new set of rules never seen before. After seeing that they had failed to achieve the positively valued goal; only one person would come out alive of the game as victorious, Katniss resorts to putting her plan in action. They become the first couple to ever win, whereas in other years only one person survives. This could be seen as an act of deviance after facing difficulties to achieve the goal. By almost committing suicide they force the Capitol to change their rules and choose between having two winner or having no entertainment. 
Robert Agnew’s general strain theory also focused on anticipated strain. It is defined as the individual’s expectation that the current strains will continue into the future or new strains will be experienced. Once Katniss wakes up after winning the Games, she is told by Haymitch that the people at the Capitol did not like her act of defiance and that from then on, she would be watched very closely. This warning can be interpreted as an anticipated strain. Although vague, this threat foreshadows the hardships Katniss will face in the future due to her brave act of trying to survive. The Capitol saw it as an act of opposition reminding them of the Dark Days. In the future, though it is not mentioned in this film, Katniss will continue to engage in criminal activity due to the strain she faces from the Capitol’s increase in surveillance and social control. In the anticipation of the strain Katniss feels anger, frustration and fear. In general strain theory, people with negative emotionality tend to act without thinking, and to engage in risky behavior. In this case, the risky behavior is Katniss leading a revolution against the Capitol, who symbolizes the government, in preparation of the strain. The revolution would consist of killing people in the Capitol that oppose her ideas and also killing innocent people.
Using the general strain theory has helped in having a better understanding of the film because it can explain the social interactions in the film. Each deviant act in the movie can be given a throughout explanation as to why it originated with the use of the general strain theory. The behavior of the characters are responses from strains that arise from multiple factors within the districts such as unequal access to resources and the differences in treatment regarding the citizens’ social status. Originally when the film was released, the deviant acts displayed were seen as rebellious and some might even argue seen as petty, but by applying the general strain theory, it can be explained that their actions are a cause of the repression they have been enduring for decades. The theory explains that the criminal acts are a coping mechanism some might engage in to reduce or escape the negative emotions they are experiencing.
Work Cited

Trant, Kelli. “Hunger Games and Social Psyhcology.” – Free Term Papers, Essays and Research Documents, 18 June 2015,


Hunger Games Marketing Report

This essay will present an analysis of some of the reasons for the commercial success of the recent movie “The Hunger Games” a film that generated $155m in ticket sales in the US alone (LA Times, 2012).
One of the key activities of the marketing function is to undertake environmental analysis in order to consider adaptations to the marketing mix which will ultimately lead to higher levels of profitability (Jobber, 2007). A key aspect which the success of The Hunger Games draws upon is a changing social dynamic within the external environment which has seen a preference of consumers for movies over books. As such, it is argued that the success rate of many recent movies including The Hunger Games and other well known films such as the Harry Potter series have come from what is essentially a product adaption from book to motion picture, a conversion which better meets the needs of the consumer (LA Times, 2012).

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Other factors that may be seen as relating to the successes driven by considerations in the external environment relate to the timing of the release of the product. A well known definition of good marketing being the right product, in the right place at the right time (Brassington and Pettitt, 2006). In this case, Velasco (2012) argues that the timing of the release of the product was a crucial piece of marketing, in effect the March rollout seeing that The Hunger Games was released into a market which was largely devoid of competition with many competing major motion pictures not being due for release until the later summer period.
Other theoretical considerations which aid one’s understanding of the reasons for the commercial success of the hunger games may relate to customer segmentation and targeting (Kotler et al, 2009). In this case, sources compare the success of The Hunger Games to that of the Harry Potter series. Here it is indicated that The Hunger Games takes advantage of a broader approach to demographic segmentation than that of the Harry Potter films (LA Times, 2012). For instance, while the Harry Potter series has a very limited audience, namely children and those looking after them, The Hunger Games was marketed at a much broader demographic including the lucrative teenage segment. As such, a broader interpretation of the segmentation concept saw The Hunger Games simply having a wider audience to draw upon in the first place. Some sources have also indicated that in its current format as a motion picture, the film has “downplayed” the romantic aspects of the original book in an attempt to further widen the appeal to both male and female segments of the population (Velasco, 2012). Again this may be seen as a key reason for the success of the movie with an audience which is potentially twice as big in comparison to targeting only one gender group.
Other sources in analysing the commercial success of the movie have considered the direct promotional elements of the marketing mix (Brassington and Pettit, 2006) most notably focusing upon contemporary forms of promotion such as social media advertising (Belch and Belch, 2009). In this case, Acuna (2012) argues that The Hunger Games has made use of the most comprehensive social media marketing campaign of any movie to date which has included a raft of activity on social networking sites such as Facebook and activity using other sources such as Tumbler and Twitter. Such activities are designed to effectively amplify the official messages transmitted by advertisers with advertising in the social media often resembling that of traditional word of mouth forms of marketing (Yeshin, 2006). In analysing this element of the marketing mix, one may consider that the use of such promotional activities also links to the segmentation and targeting strategy as previously outlined. In this case, one may see that the teenage to early twenties target audience is also the audience which is most susceptible to social media and other forms of contemporary advertising.
Other sources such as Reuters (2012) go further in assessing the impact of The Hunger Games online and social media marketing campaign. In this case there is a consideration that the marketing campaign on the behalf of The Hunger Games in the social media environment has been so large in scale and so successful that this will limit the amount of money future film producers spend on traditional advertising such as television advertising. Despite this success seen in the context of The Hunger Games, the article (Reuters, 2012) goes on to point out that such a tactic is far from risk free with the previous 2009 film “Bruno” suffering from “bad-word-of-mouth” reviews in the online social environment and damaging the credibility of the offer.
Despite the use and success of contemporary forms of marketing such as online marketing and social media marketing, the films promoters have not neglected classical forms of promotional material with considerable effort being made to raise the profile of the movie through traditional paper based forms of advertising. In this case Acuna (2012) indicated that in the US 80,000 free posters for the film were handed out while another 3,000 billboard and bus shelter hoardings were paid for. All of these may be seen as key methods of raising the profile of a marketing offer in the context of an untargeted marketing audience (Yeshin, 2006).
Having reviewed the evidence there is little doubt that the recent major motion picture The Hunger Games has been a commercial success and that furthermore, a large amount of this success has been due to positive marketing activities. However, the paper has also revealed that in order to create such a marketing success a whole range of activities and factors have had to be taken into account including environmental analysis, effective segmentation and the creation of an innovative marketing mix. If there is a single important factor to be derived from this paper then it is perhaps the need for contemporary marketers to truly understand the changing landscape of the promotional environment in which social media marketing may now be seen as a core area of focus moving forward.
Acuna, K. (2012). The Hunger Games by the numbers: 20 marketing tactics to ensure success. Available online at: [Accessed on 19/11/12].
Belch, G, E. Belch, M, A. (2009). Advertising and promotion. 8th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Brassington, F, Pettitt, S. (2006). Principals of marketing. 2nd ed. Harlow: FT Prentice Hall.
Jobber, D. (2007). Principles and practice of marketing. 5th ed. London: McGraw Hill.
Kotler, P, Keller, K, L, Brady, M, Goodman, M, Hansen, T. (2009). Marketing management. Harlow: Pearson Education.
LA Times. (2012). The hunger games: five lessons from its box office success. Available online at: [Accessed on 19/11/12].
Reuters. (2012). Hunger Games success spells trouble for TV ads. Available online at: [Accessed on 19/11/12].
Velasco, S. (2012). How The Hunger Games scored a marketing win. Available online at: [Accessed on 19/11/12].
Yeshin, T. (2006). Advertising. Australia: South-Western.

An Analysis of The Hunger Games through International Relations Theories

The Hunger Games, a youth novel written by Suzanne Collins, does indeed have a scholarly use in the field of International Relations. This novel, with its conflicts both within the nation of Panem, a fictional nation that replaces the United States with twelve districts, all controlled by the “Capitol” and on a more useful and micro system level inside of the arena, where two children from each district are forced to fight in an arena until only one remains is an accurate representation of the international systems in the real world. This micro level allows the scholar to make assumptions from the individual behavior witnessed within the arena. Cooperation within the arena is also a controversial topic for international relations scholars based on the differing opinions of the different paradigms. These conflicts, relationships, propensity for violence, the fight for survival within this novel all represent individual human behavior and international relations and can be used as analogies for the three main paradigms, realism, liberalism, and constructivism. 

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 The behavior of the individual participant within the arena differs between the paradigms. From the perspective of realism, the individual is expected to value power over everything else, for in power comes peace. One of the assumptions of the realist perspective, such as those by John Mearsheimer is that “great powers inherently possess some offensive military capability, which gives them the wherewithal to hurt and possibly destroy each other.” (Mearsheimer 61) in this case, the powers, or states, are the individual within the arena. At the beginning of the deathmatch, the individuals begin with nothing but themselves, they must rush to find a weapon and increase their power, while evading the other opponents who are also arming themselves. These opponents are not evenly matched, nor are they matched by gender, there is a mix of all types of individuals, big and powerful boys, cunning young women. Realists would suggest that the “greater powers”, specifically those of the participants that are physically strong and now possess weapons, would now become more aggressive, however, in this situation the participants must utilize calculated aggression when fighting with equally powerful opponents.  When realizing that an opponent is equally as power, the participants will often avoid direct contact, and defend what current power and resources they possess and analyze the cost and benefit of going on the offense. 

 Because of the necessity to increase their power, the individual’s behavior is also affected by the fear from the other individuals having the same if not more power, this fear breeds suspicion. The main goal of the entire event is to be the last one standing, and just as states in the real world and the individuals within the fictional arena would, “any state bent on survival must be at least suspicious of other states and reluctant to trust them.” (Mearsheimer 62). This is especially true once the alliances begin to form within the arena, by the “Career Tributes”, Katniss and the other independent individuals, “the strong band together to hunt down the weak then, when the tension becomes too great, begin to turn on one another.” (Collins 159).  This constant power struggle of the participants is directly related to John Herz analysis of the anarchical nature of international relations, specifically power dynamics, “…states are drive to acquire more and more power in order to escape the impact of the power of others.” (Mearsheimer 64).

 The arena itself only represents some states of human nature dictated by the realist paradigm. The assumption that the system is anarchic, is correct, and that inside of the arena there are not any set rules, everything is permitted. However, the Capitol serves as a sole hegemonic power and has the ultimate power within the arena, by being able to change and manipulate the balance of power and even the environment, meaning that the system is not purely anarchic. All the participants inside the arena desire to increase their power so that they can survive, and tend to pursue their own interests, and stockpile as many resources as possible, another assumption made by realists. Inside of the arena, power is directly related to the physical weapons, medical supplies, shelter and food that are available, this provides safety in a very chaotic world. Lastly, the arena is not traditionally conducive to cooperation, “although cooperation is sometimes difficult to achieve and always difficult to sustain.” (Mearsheimer 73) and alliances do form in the beginning but dwindle towards the end of the deathmatch when the individual participants begin to put their self-interests ahead of the group. On a micro level, this inhibited cooperation represents the international relations under realism and how each state must weigh the risk and reward of cooperating with another state they might not be able to trust.

 Under the basic assumptions of liberalism, the participants within the arena would be expected to cooperate and the individuals being multipolar, rather than bipolar or unipolar powers, meaning that allies today could be enemies tomorrow, and gives many ways to balance power and threats. Liberal scholars would also assess that the alliances that form in the arena are purely for the survival of the participants within that alliance. Because there isn’t a need for a trading or economic system within the game, the only focus of this analysis would be on the power dilemma that is created and the trust building between participants for security purposes.

Constructivists would expect that the participants behave different towards other participants based on their social relationship. This paradigm would also expect that the agency of the participant is directly related to the socially created influence that the arena puts on them. The participants do behave differently towards one another based on their relationships, for example, Katniss treats Rue much differently than she would Glimmer, a member of the career tributes, because of the relationship she built with her while trying to survive, and the hatred that Katniss has for said career tributes. The changing of social relationships can also change how the participants interact, an example of this would be Katniss and Peeta’s relationship. From the start of the deathmatch, Peeta allies with the career tributes ostensibly to survive, which angers Katniss, but when Peeta betrays the allies to protect Katniss, her opinion, and thus relationship turns to one of friendship, rather than enmity.

Inside of the arena cooperation is already very inhibited by the traditional rule that only one person may survive, and cooperative alliances should be banned from the start. In the beginning of the deathmatch, alliances do form, such as the “career tributes” who have trained their entire lives to enter the games and survive. These participants, namely the tributes from Districts 1, 2 and 4, band together early, Katniss notices that they begin to form an alliance even before the games and describes them as “the ones who lunched together.” (Collins 159). This unfair advantage of the strongest individuals becoming allies makes it incredibly unfair for those from the other poorer districts such as 11 or 12, without the physical prowess, and wealthy benefactors, sponsors that can air drop things such as food, medicine, and clothing. This unfair advantage leads to a power dilemma within the arena as the hegemonic allied participants begin with more overt power, and latent power as they can manipulate more variables within the game through their connections to sponsors. The allied participants quickly utilize their hard power and gather their power through force and violence, killing and terrorizing for survival.

The games inside of the arena should be solitary, fighting and surviving only by themselves the same way that Thomas Hobbes wrote as the state of nature “everyman versus everyman” (Tickner 117).  In war of everyone versus everyone else, participants are less interdependent on their alliance or partner, and now independent, allowing for the strongest, or sometimes the luckiest person to survive, rather than who has the most support from others. Making a rule against cooperation also forces the participants to utilize self-help, which “tends to reward competition and punish altruism.” (Wendt 102). The arena is meant to pit everyone against each other instead of making friends or allies, despite the game makers choosing at the last minute to change the rule to allow two survivors, traditionally there could be only one and the game should be played as such. Participants, much like real states, who rely too much on greater powers, are often stabbed in the back when the greater state realizes that the lesser powers have no use to them anymore. All in all, the ability to cooperate within the arena should not be possible, but this it still happens regardless though unsuccessfully for the hegemonic alliance.

 The international system differs from the situation and conditions within the arena because it lacks true rules within the arena, there is not a true trade system or economic system and there is no real ability to cooperate without destroying your ally to eventually becoming the surviving state. Regardless of paradigms, these differences create a separation between the fictional arena and the true reality of the international system.  

  With cooperation in the arena stifled, there is not a significant comparison to be made with the international system. This is apparent in the real world with “states such as Brazil and Botswana may recognize each other’s sovereignty, but they require incentives to engage in joint action.” (Wendt 105), this is much akin to the participants within the arena. The participants cannot fully trust one another, with the possibility of being betrayed by their supposed allies, the only thing that brings the participants together is the fact that they are stronger together and have a higher chance of survival. The only problem with this loose alliance is that unlike the real world where there can be more than one “winner” or powerful state, the arena only allows one survivor typically or two with the ending of the novel, the alliance eventually must consume itself and fight inside of itself to create on survivor.

One of the main distinctions between the arena and the international systems, is that there is not a true economic system within the arena. Emphasis is placed on survival, and tactics, rather than cooperation or economic gain. In the real world, states must also worry about the prosperity of their society, which typically requires them to trade with other states, either for materials or for supplies that they need. Materials and supplies within the arena are not traded, they are acquired through theft or gathering, so there is not a social relationship created between participants.

The lack of a set of rules or laws within the arena, is directly comparable between the conditions of the arena and how states within the international system would behave. Without rules, the arena is completely anarchic, it is the same if the international system was truly anarchic, without any formal sanctions. Predatory states would emerge, increasing their power through aggression and destroying smaller and weaker states. This is especially true within the arena, as the strongest participants, especially after the first few eliminations quickly realize that they can take out the weaker states by direct force rather than coercion or attrition because there are no consequences to worry about from a higher power.

    Just like participants in the arena, even strong states cannot always gain what they want via aggressive behavior. Behavior is directly related, at least to the rational state, is based on “not only what states want, but also their capacity to realize their desires” (Mearsheimer 65), this means that even though states, or participants in the case of the story, want to survive, want to win, they might not have the means, or armaments to achieve what they want. These strong nations are more inclined to be aggressive when they have more supplies and better weapons and there is not another strong opponent to keep them in check. However sometimes powerful states make decisions based on poor intelligence, or by an educated guess, and this can lead to miscalculating the means of other states or overestimating their own power.

Another condition that applies to both the international system and the arena is that there is no room for miscalculation when dealing with enemies. Though there are not nuclear weapons within the arena, the threat of death is eminent, even the smallest participant, Rue, can kill a stronger participant with the use of subtlety and misleading the strong opponent to believe that she is weak. This same scenario happens in the real world with countries such as the Vietnam conflict where the United States underestimated the Vietnamese, in both size, nationalistic resolve and subtlety. Another mistake the allied participants made was to underestimate Katniss’s willingness to survive and to fight back, especially once they have corned her in a tall tree in the beginning of the deathmatch. In the international system any miscalculation of an opponent’s willingness to fight, can also be deadly, such as “North Korea miscalculating U.S willingness to defend South Korea; the United States miscalculated China’s willingness to defend North Korea; and so on.” (Fearon 383). These potentially grievous miscalculations can be seen in both the real world and the fictional arena.

 Power and fear are the main weapons inside of both international systems and the arena. Even before the deathmatch begins, the participants are ranked with a number that matches their combat prowess, physical ability, more specifically, their power. This power, creates fear within the other participants and dictates how they strategize, just like states, “the more profound the fear is, the more intense the security competition, and the more likely is war” (Mearsheimer 68). Katniss overhears the career tributes asking Peeta “wish we knew how she [Katniss] got that eleven.” (Collins 162) meaning that though she is alone, that they fear her for her high-power score. Security competition inside of the arena means the procurement of weapons and supplies and this distribution of power does change the levels of fear between participants. The distribution inside of the arena resides mostly in the hegemon of the career tributes and gives them the capability of dominating the rest of the participant, leaving the rest in fear.

Scholars analyzing the arena should use it to create analogies between the real world, and the fictional arena. The arena provides analogies such as how the hegemonic career tributes are very similar to hegemonic powers in the real world international system. Other analogies include that weaker participants can take out stronger participants by utilizing soft power and more strategic methods, instead of overt power and direct conflict, this analogy in the real world means smaller, weaker states can overcome greater states with the use of better strategies, and being able to avoid direct conflict, much like the Viet Cong or fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan. Though plenty of analogies can be made throughout the entire novel, the most important ones can be drawn from the conflicts and strategies used by the participants within the arena, as these accurately represent how states act given the same set of parameters.

Utilizing what can be analyzed from the arena, scholars can make general assumptions on individual behavior when trying to understand state behavior. The behavior observed from the participants, which is on a very microscopic level compared to an international system of states, provides only a brief expectation of how individuals would act under similar conditions. The parameters that the participants face does accurately represent states in the real world under the realist perspective. Inside of the arena, the goal of the participant is survival, which is not unlike states, who desire prosperity, but most importantly, survival and longevity of their society.

Through the analysis of The Hunger Games, behavior of states can be derived from the behaviors of individual participants. Despite the different ideologies of the paradigms, realism, liberalism, and constructivism, there is a basis to all their expectations. The arena does represent the state of nature expected from realists, with the participants using power and fear, manipulation for power, cooperation limited by the parameters of the arena and need for calculated aggression to successfully survive the arena, and in the real world.  Deeper analysis allows scholars to use the fictional arena and the participants actions within as a basis for states behavior in the real world, and on a much smaller level. All of the analysis and the application of the different international relations theories on the arena lead to a much better understanding overall of state behavior in the international system.

Work Cited

Mearsheimer, John. “Essential Readings in World Politics.” Essential Readings in World Politics, by Karen A. Mingst and Jack L. Snyder, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2017, pp. 61–61.

Mearsheimer, John. “Essential Readings in World Politics.” Essential Readings in World Politics, by Karen A. Mingst and Jack L. Snyder, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2017, pp. 62-62.

“The Hunger Games.” The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, 2009, pp. 159–159.

Mearsheimer, John. “Essential Readings in World Politics.” Essential Readings in World Politics, by Karen A. Mingst and Jack L. Snyder, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2017, pp. 64-64.

Mearsheimer, John. “Essential Readings in World Politics.” Essential Readings in World Politics, by Karen A. Mingst and Jack L. Snyder, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2017, pp. 73-73.

“The Hunger Games.” The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, 2009, pp. 159–159.

Tickner, J. “Essential Readings in World Politics.” Essential Readings in World Politics, by Karen A. Mingst and Jack L. Snyder, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2017, pp. 117-117.

Wendt, Alexander. “Essential Readings in World Politics.” Essential Readings in World Politics, by Karen A. Mingst and Jack L. Snyder, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2017, pp. 102-102.

Wendt, Alexander. “Essential Readings in World Politics.” Essential Readings in World Politics, by Karen A. Mingst and Jack L. Snyder, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2017, pp. 105-105.

Mearsheimer, John. “Essential Readings in World Politics.” Essential Readings in World Politics, by Karen A. Mingst and Jack L. Snyder, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2017, pp. 65-65.

Fearon, James. “Essential Readings in World Politics.” Essential Readings in World Politics, by Karen A. Mingst and Jack L. Snyder, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2017, pp. 383-383.

Mearsheimer, John. “Essential Readings in World Politics.” Essential Readings in World Politics, by Karen A. Mingst and Jack L. Snyder, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2017, pp. 68-68.

“The Hunger Games.” The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, 2009, pp. 162-162.