In this workshop organized by the GDRI CRICEC (Crises and Changes in the European Countryside), we aim to take stock of current knowledge and research problems within the Group partners and other researchers they may bring in, in order to lay the ground for more specialized workshops in the following years. This aim is expressed in three broad and interrelated sets of questions:
1. What were the relationship patterns between harvest fluctuations and food shortages, and how did they evolve? When, how and to what extent did they decouple in different areas? What factors and causal mechanisms coupled them, and/or caused them to decouple? How did decoupling relate to agricultural, demographic and economic growth?
2. How have rural societies, states and markets dealt with harvest fluctuations in food crops (either their own or those they depended on through trade or other means of distribution)? How did they prevent and/or remediate food shortages? How did such strategies evolve and why?
3. What were the social, agricultural, demographical, economic and political effects of food shortages? How did those effects evolve over time? How and to what extent did they hinder or promote agricultural change and growth?