Part I: Archaeology of international humanitarianism
in A history of humanitarianism, 1755–1989
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A short introduction offers an overview on the first part of the book, which opens with the earthquake of Lisbon (1755) and it analyses a long time frame (until the end of the nineteenth century). The different chapters reconstruct the emergence of a new ‘culture of sensibility’, the establishment of the anti-slavery movement and the development of relief activities in the colonial territories, at the will as much of the missionaries as of the administrators sent from the metropolises. Through these events and processes, the practices, knowledge and experience accumulated in Western societies that later encouraged the setting up of the contemporary humanitarian system. The first part of the volume examines the ‘archaeological’ phase (in Foucault’s sense of the term) of the development of that system.

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