Eating words: a discourse historical analysis of the public debate over India’s 2013 National Food Security Act

Ashok Kotwal, Kate Power
  • On the Horizon, September 2015, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/oth-05-2015-0019

What is it about?

This article examines recent media debates over the introduction of India's 2013 National Food Security Act (NFSA). In it, we compare leftist, centrist and right-wing positions on the NFSA and observe that use of the term "food security" (rather than, say, "poverty alleviation") was an effective rhetorical strategy used by the Left to garner support for the Act.

Why is it important?

This article is a rare example of interdisciplinary collaboration between an economist and a linguist. It demonstrates the utility of linguistic approaches to exploring economic issues, and sheds new light on the political currency of the term "food security," which has emerged as a major world interest in the 21st century.


Dr Kate Power
University of British Columbia

Writing this article with Ashok Kotwal was a great collaborative experience and a wonderful opportunity for both of us to expand our horizons. Ashok is an expert in international development and I have expertise in discourse analysis. Together, we were able to write a paper that neither of us could have written alone. I am eager now to explore the discursive aspects of other economic issues and am already having conversations about other potential crossdisciplinary projects.

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