The main focus of this book is on the causation of starvation in general and of famines in particular. The author develops the alternative method of analysis—the 'entitlement approach'—concentrating on ownership and exchange, not on food supply. The book also provides a general analysis of the characterization and measurement of poverty. Various approaches used in economics, sociology, and political theory are critically examined. The predominance of distributional issues, including distribution between different occupation groups, links up the problem of conceptualizing poverty with that of analyzing starvation.