SOAS University of London

SOAS Food Studies Centre

Dr Susanne Jaspars

  • Teaching
  • Research


SOAS Food Studies Centre


Dr Susanne Jaspars
Email address:
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings


Susanne has worked on the social and political dynamics of food in situations of conflict, famine and humanitarian crises for more than thirty years. In 2016, she completed a PhD in Politics, examining the history and politics of food aid in Sudan, at Bristol University. She previously gained an MSc in Human Nutrition at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (1986). Susanne has worked both has practitioner and researcher, mostly in the Horn of Africa. As a practitioner, she worked for organisations such as Medecins sans Frontieres, Oxfam, the World Food Programme. As researcher, Susanne worked as a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, as Senior Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute’s Humanitarian Policy Group in London, and has been a Research Associate at the SOAS Food Studies Centre since 2016. Susanne has published a number of books, academic articles and policy reports (see below). She is on the editorial board of Disasters journal and on the Executive Committee (board) of the International Humanitarian Studies Association.


Books and book chapters
  • Jaspars, S. (2018). Food aid in Sudan. A History of Politics, Power and Profit. London: Zed Books.
  • Jaspars, S. (2015). Chapter 8. Sudan's permanent food emergency: A historical analysis of food aid, governance and political economy. In: Christoplos, I. and Pain, A.(eds). New Challenges to Food Security. From Climate Change to Fragile States. London: Routledge.pp143-165.
  • Creti P. and Jaspars, S. Eds (2006, January). Cash transfers in emergencies. An Oxfam Practical Guide. Oxford: Oxfam publications.
  • Jaspars, S. and Young, H. (1995). General Food Distribution in Emergencies; from Nutritional Needs to Political Priorities. RRN Good Practice Review 3. London: Overseas Development Institute.
  • Young, H. and Jaspars, S. (1995). Nutrition Matters: People, Food and Famine. London: Intermediate Technology Publications.


  • Jaspars, S (2020). Protracted crisis, food security and the fantasy of resilience. Security Dialogue. Published online 13 July 2020. 
  • Jaspars, S., Buchanan-Smith and Abdul-Jalil (2020). Darfuri journeys to Europe: causes, risks and humanitarian abandonment. International Migration. Published online 11 June
  • Jaspars, S. (2018). The state, inequality, and the political economy of long-term food aid in Sudan. African Affairs, 117 (469): 592-612.
  • Maxwell, D., Young, H., Jaspars, S., Frize, J., Burns, J. (2011). Targeting and distribution in complex emergencies: Participatory management of humanitarian food assistance. Food Policy, 36(4):535-543
  • Jaspars, S. and O’Callaghan, S. (2010). Protection and livelihoods in situations of protracted conflict. Disasters, 34 (Supplement 2): S165-S182.
  • Buchanan-Smith, M. and Jaspars, S. (2007). Conflict, camps and coercion: the ongoing livelihoods crisis in Darfur. Disasters, 31 (Supplement 1): S57-S76.
  • Jaspars, S. and Shoham, J. (1999). Targeting the vulnerable; the necessity and feasibility of targeting vulnerable households. Disasters, 23 (4): 359-372.
  • Macrae, J., Bradbury, M., Jaspars, S., Johnson, D. and Duffield, M. (1997). Conflict, the Continuum and Chronic Emergencies: A Critical Analysis of the Scope for Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development Planning in Sudan. Disasters, 21 (3): 223-243
  • Jaspars, S. and Young, H. (1995). Malnutrition and poverty in the early stages of famine; findings in North Darfur. Disasters, 19(3): 198-215.
  • Young, H. and Jaspars, S. (1995). Nutrition, disease and death in times of famine. Disasters, 19(2): 94-109.
  • Young, H. and Jaspars, S. (1995). Nutritional assessments, food security and famine. Disasters, 19(1): 26-36.

Other peer reviewed publications

  • Jaspars, S., Adan, G. Majid, N. (2020). Food and Power in Somalia: Business as Usual? LSE Monograph. Conflict Research Programme. London: LSE.
  • Jaspars, S and Buchanan-Smith, M. (2018). Darfuri migration from Sudan to Europe: From displacement to despair. Overseas Development Institute and EU Trust Fund Research and Evidence Facility.
  • Jaspars, S. and O'Callaghan, S. (2010). Challenging choices: Protection and Livelihoods in Conflict. Case studies from Darfur, Chechnya, Sri Lanka and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. HPG Report 31. London: Overseas Development Institute.
  • Jaspars, S. (2000). Solidarity and Soup Kitchens: A review of principles and practice for food distribution in conflict. HPG report 17. London: Overseas Development Institute.


Selected published working papers

  • Jaspars, S. (2019). A role of social nutrition in strengthening accountability for mass starvation? World Peace Foundation Occasional Paper 20, Tufts University. Boston.
  • Jaspars, S., Scott-Smith, T., Hull, E. (2018). Contested evolution of nutrition for humanitarian and development ends. Report of an international workshop.
  • Refugee Studies Centre Working Paper 125. Oxford University.
  • Abdel Ati, H., Pavanello, S, Jaspars, S (2011). City Limits. Urbanisation and Vulnerability in Sudan. Port Sudan case study. HGP Working Paper. London: Overseas Development Institute.
  • Jones, L., Jaspars, S., Pavanello, S., Ludi, E., Slater, R., Arnall, A., Grist, N., Mtisi, S. (2010). Responding to a Changing Climate. Exploring how disaster risk reduction, social protection and livelihoods approaches promote features of adaptive capacity. ODI Working Paper 319. London: Overseas Development Institute.
  • Harvey, P., Proudlock, K., Clay, E., Riley, B. and Jaspars, S. (2010). Food aid and food assistance in emergency and transitional contexts: a review of current thinking. HPG Commissioned Report. London: Overseas Development Institute.
  • Jaspars, S. (2010). Coping and Change in protracted conflict: the role of community groups and local institutions in addressing food insecurity and threats to livelihoods. A case study based on the experience of Practical Action in Darfur. HPG Working paper. London: Overseas Development Institute.
  • Jaspars, S. and Maxwell, D. (2009). Food Security and Livelihoods Programming in Conflict. A review. HPN Network Paper 65. London: Overseas Development Institute.
  • Jaspars, S. and Maxwell, D. (2008). Targeting in Complex Emergencies: Somalia Country Case Study. Boston: Feinstein International Center. Tufts University.
  • Young, H. and Jaspars, S. (2006, November). The meaning and measurement of acute malnutrition in emergencies. A primer for decision makers. HPN paper 56. Overseas Development Institute.
  • Jaspars, S. (2006, March). From food crisis to fair trade. Livelihood analysis, protection and support in emergencies. Emergency Nutrition Network/Oxfam GB. Special supplement 3.
  • Jaspars, S. and Shoham, J. (2002, December). A critical review of approaches to assessing and monitoring livelihoods in situations of chronic conflict and political instability. Working paper 191. London: Overseas Development Institute.
  • Young, H, Jaspars, S., Brown, R., Frize, J., Khogali, H. (2001. Food-security assessments in emergencies: a livelihoods approach. HPN Network Paper 36. London: Overseas Development Institute.
  • Jaspars, S. (1994). The Rwandan Refugee Crisis in Tanzania: Initial successes and failures in Food Assistance. RRN Network paper 6. London: Overseas Development Institute.



Susanne Jaspars researches the social and political aspects of food security, livelihoods and nutrition in situations of conflict, famine and humanitarian crises. Current areas of interest include politics, migration and humanitarianism (with a recent focus on Darfuri migration to Europe), social approaches to nutrition in times of famine and crises, and the politics and political economy of food aid and food assistance – particularly in situations of protracted crisis.