In the period when most of the international programmes were dedicated to development, war relief certainly did not disappear from humanitarianism’s sphere of action, as we have seen in aid operations for the civilians fleeing armed conflicts in the Middle East, Asia and North Africa between the 1940s and 1950s. In this area of intervention, new parties established themselves that identified in humanitarian commitment a tool with which to claim the independence of the colonial territories or to assert the full sovereignty of the newly constituted
largely absorbed the work of the NGOs too, as shown by their intense participation in the ‘Freedom from Hunger’ campaign (1960–65), launched by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It is the programme to free the world from hunger that provides a useful observation point to understand how the different parties in international humanitarianism interpreted their massive commitment to the development of the Third World. In fact, it seemed to some insiders that the work for advancement of the ‘backward’ countries distanced the humanitarian societies from their
Exactly this kind of human rights language has also played a part in the invasion of Iraq. A kind of militant humanitarianism had grown up during the late 1990s, which argued for a more robust strategy of intervention to secure human rights goals in faraway lands. This led many liberals to support the U.S. attacks on Afghanistan which followed the 11 September attacks. 39 While Stephen Holmes is right when he says that the ‘heady support’ of ‘certain sparkling intellects … played little or no role in the decision to invade Iraq’, he is also correct to
eastern European regimes and led to the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the Soviet Union broke off sending any sort of aid to Ethiopia. When the anti-Menghistu troops, brought together in the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, marched on Addis Ababa the Soviet Union did not intervene.
The end of the Cold War not only modified the political context in which the famine had developed – the famine that had led to the largest ever mobilisation in the history of humanitarianism – but it also so deeply influenced the structure of international aid as a
’s interest to keep China united or divided, given the start of the Cold War? Hsiao-ting Lin has recently labelled the result an ‘accidental state’. 62
The study of disasters and humanitarianism has quickly become a field of its own and has attracted an increasing number of scholars. Pierre-Etienne Will and Lillian Li have led the way by examining famine and the response to it in northern China. 63 Andrea Janku has examined the politics of disasters and their context. 64 Kathryn Edgerton-Tarpley has studied cultural responses to famine, whereas Micah Muscolino
America. Who do we see about that? Do I want to preach America? Judeo-Christianity? No. If their religion forbids them from playing the trumpet, so be it. But I want those kids to look at a globe, be exposed to social sciences, history, some literature. They’ll like us when we win.
Again, the language is reminiscent of the parallel debates in the real-life West Wing. Appeals to humanitarianism and human rights provide windowdressing for a particularly muscular variant of liberalism – a ‘Wilsonianism with boots’, to use Max Boot’s infamous phrase. 58 These
37 See Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (San Diego: Harvest Books, 1979), 292 and Karen Halttunen, ‘Humanitarianism and the Pornography of Pain in Anglo-American Culture’, American Historical Review 100.2 (1995), 303–34.
38 Michael Ignatieff, ‘Lesser Evils’, New York Times Magazine , 2 May 2004, 86.
39 Lieutenant Diane Beaver, ‘Legal Brief on Proposed Counter-Resistance Strategies to Department of Defense, Joint Task Force 170’, 11 October 2002, in Torture and Truth
). The feminist reinterpretation of Scripture was a step towards self-determination: see Martine Monacelli-Faraut, ‘Effacer la faute d’Eve: tentatives des militantes anglaises au dix-neuvième siècle pour (re) penser l’origine’, Résonances , 11 ( June 2010), 11–25.
120 ‘Religious and quasi-religious humanitarianism, emphasizing reciprocal social obligations and the moral regeneration of society, was one of the strongest impulses behind the social turn’ (Leighton, 2004 : 260). Charles Gore and Scott Holland identified the Liberal Party as the most practical
giving their due weight to the passages which he himself so aptly characterizes? Well, just the class interests thesis and other passages said to be its consequence, and which he takes – wrongly, but we have decided here to let this pass – as evincing a contempt on Marx’s part for humanitarianism. Exegetically, however, it is no more legitimate to set aside the first sort of passage for not squaring with the second than it would be to set aside the second sort, therefore the class interests thesis itself, for not squaring with the first. If the object is to understand
–1830 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).
24 See Haskell, ‘Capitalism’; N.S. Fiering, ‘Irresistible compassion: An aspect of eighteenth-century sympathy and humanitarianism’, 37 (1976): 195–218; M. Barnett, Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011); B. Taithe, ‘The “Making” of the Origins of Humanitarianism?’, Contemporanea , 3 (2015): 489–96.
25 Corbin, Time , 187.
26 Corbin, Time , 189.
27 Classen, Worlds of Sense , 8.
28 Classen, Worlds of Sense , 8–9; on the political usage