passports’ to refer to resilience stock/capacities (buffers) and abilities totake opportunities (passports).Vulnerability is not only shocks but slow-burning stressors too. It isalso about exposure/sensitivity to harms/hazards and capacity to cope orresilience. Further, it is experienced in different ways by different people.In this vein Sharma et al., (2000:1) note, that even when exposed to thesame event, impacts will vary, depending on the person’s capacity tocope: that is, to withstand and recover from the impact of that event(Sharma
, et. al.,
2000, p.1). In this respects Sen historical work onentitlement failures and famine was seminal.
Other seminal works to notewould be Chambers (1989) discussion of vulnerability, risk, shock, stressand coping mechanisms, and Moser’s (1998) asset vulnerability. The poverty dynamics literature is also of direct relevance withparticular reference to research on chronic and transient poverty (see inparticular Hulme et al., 2001; Shepherd et al., 2010). In countries withdata, the percentage of the poor that are always poor is around a third of poor households (see table 1). This implies that two-thirds of the poormove in and out of poverty depending on vulnerability and capacities tocope.
Table 1. Selected countries: the chronic poor (‘always poor’) as % of poor householdsCountriesPeriodsAlways poor HH aspercentage of totalpoor householdsBangladesh1994-200625China1991-199530India1970-198242
The literature on entitlements and famine has had a ‘major theoretical, empirical andpolicy impact’ (Fine 1997:619). Aside from influencing the practice of major globalinstitutions, the literature has also driven the concept of entitlement into other areas of interest, from the welfare system (entitlement to benefits) and the legal system(entitlement to property rights) to human rights (
). Entitlement failure exists whenthere is a failure to establish command over sufficient resources for survival (Dreze andSen 1981 ). This is fundamentally about the relationship between endowment andexchange. As Elahi (2006: 544) points out, endowment – which is determined by one’sentitlements – refers to an individual’s ability to command a resource through legalmeans through a process of exchange. For example, an individual can sell (exchange) hisor her labour power (endowment) in return for a wage (resource). Entitlement underpinsthe entire process. Although strongly influenced by a material approach insofar as theframework tends to deal with the ownership of tangible assets, entitlement alsoincorporates relational aspects as vulnerability depends to some extent on the nature of ‘terms of trade relationships’ (Vatsa and Krimgold 2000: 136).