Food Studies Centre

Dr Susanne Jaspars

Key information

Food Studies Centre Member
Food Studies Centre
Russell Square: College Buildings
Email address


Susanne is a Senior Research Fellow at the SOAS Food Studies Centre, and was a Research Associate (RA) at the Centre prior to this.

She has been researching the social and political dynamics of food security, livelihoods and forced migration in situations of conflict, famine and humanitarian crises for more than thirty years. Over this period, Susanne lived for extended periods in Sudan, Somalia and Kenya, and worked for shorter periods in other parts of the Horn and East Africa, in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Europe.

She is the PI of an ESRC funded project entitled: ‘Digitalising food assistance: Political economy, governance and food security effects across the Global North-South divide’, which includes country case studies in Sudan, India and the UK. Susanne also co-led a joint SOAS-ODI research to study on Darfuri migration from Sudan to Europe, and was PI on a couple of LSE research projects on food and power (2018-2022). Earlier research activities were as

Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (working on nutrition and famine; 1991-92), as Senior Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute’s Humanitarian Policy Group (leading food security and livelihoods research; 2008-2010), and she is an RA at CEDEJ Khartoum (2017 – present). Susanne also conducted a number of applied research consultancies and as a practitioner worked for organisations such as Medecins sans Frontieres, Oxfam, CARE, the ICRC, UNHCR, and the World Food Programme.

She is the author of Food Aid in Sudan. A History of Power, Politics and Profit (Zed Books, 2018) and has published a number of other books, academic articles and policy reports. She is co-editor of Disasters journal and is the Vice President of the International Humanitarian Studies Association.

Research interests

Susanne Jaspars is a political and food security analyst, for situations of humanitarian crisis and famine. In 2016, she completed a PhD in Politics, examining the history and politics of food aid in Sudan, at Bristol University, building on her earlier research and practitioner experience.

Thirty years before this, she completed an MSc in Human Nutrition at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She current focusses on three broad research themes:

  1. The politics of food – how food production, trade, and aid feed into political and economic processes (in which some benefit and others are marginalised), and how food assistance practices can be a form of governance.
  2. Forced migration – most recently migration to Europe and analysing EU and UK migration and asylum policies.
  3. Social nutrition – exploring the structural causes of malnutrition as opposed to the prevailing focus on individual responsibility and behaviour. This includes examining the legal aspects of accountability for mass starvation.


Contact Susanne