Accounts of development and humanitarianism, including its critiques, have long been preoccupied with its institutional forms, driven by governments and international organisations. Such emphasis often attributes significance to the large-scale. The book argues that engaging with the informal and local manifestations of aid disrupts this assumption. It draws on ethnographic research with practitioners in Cambodia, who run their privately funded aid projects. They include Cambodians and foreigners, from Asia and the Global North, who undertake these projects of their own initiative. The book demonstrates how they make their own scales, offering radically different understandings of what actions are significant, and who counts. Such a perspective queries core humanitarian beliefs, and theories of social change more generally. It suggests that everyday practitioners operate with multiple, interlinking scales of their own making. Rather than being dismissed as ‘small scale’, they demonstrate how they render people and causes meaningful, regardless of numbers or size. They question the role of distance for aid, and reveal a nuanced interplay of proximity and distance to those in need. Such unsettling of the valorisation of the large-scale extends to social relations. The ‘distant stranger’ as the archetypal object of humanitarianism is replaced by a desire to get to know others through the act of assistance, often through idioms of kinship. Critically nuancing the trope of the ‘white saviour’, everyday aid is characterised by multiple affinity ties between actors from the Global North and South, which direct and motivate development and humanitarian action.
The reconstruction of Kosovo after 1999 was one of the largest and most ambitious international interventions in a post conflict country. Kosovo was seen by many international actors as a ‘green fields’ site on which to construct the government institutions and practices they considered necessary for future peace and prosperity. For a while Kosovo was close to being a laboratory for the practice of institution building and capacity development. This book looks beyond the apparently united and generally self congratulatory statements of international organisations and donors to examine what actually happened when they tried to work together in Kosovo to construct a new public administration. It considers the interests and motivations and the strengths and weaknesses of each of the major players and how these affected what they did, how they did it, and how successful they were in achieving their goals. Although in general the international exercise in Kosovo can be seen as a success, the results have been uneven. Some public administration institutions perform well while others face ongoing challenges. The book argues that to a significant extent the current day performance of the Kosovo government can be traced to the steps taken, or sometimes not taken, by various international actors in the early years of the international intervention.
The book traces the history of international humanitarianism from the anti-slavery movement to the end of the Cold War. It is based on an extensive survey of the international literature and is retold in an original narrative that relies on a close examination of the sources. It explains how relief entered both the national and the supranational institutions' agenda, and the programmes of non-governmental organisations, contributing to shape the relationship between the global North and South. The reconstruction of humanitarianism’s long history unfolds around some crucial moments and events: the colonial expansion of European countries, the two World Wars and their aftermaths, the emergence of a new postcolonial order. Salvatici looks especially closely at the major actors of aid operations (such as the Red Cross, Save the Children, the United Nations agencies, Oxfam, Doctors Without Borders) and highlights how the meaning of international humanitarianism has changed over time.
This book provides a historical account of the NGO Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe (CARE) as one of the largest humanitarian NGOs worldwide from 1945 to 1980. Readers interested in international relations and humanitarian hunger prevention are provided with fascinating insights into the economic and business related aspects of Western non-governmental politics, fundraising and philanthropic giving in this field. The book also offers rich empirical material on the political implications of private and governmental international aid in a world marked by the order of the Cold War, and decolonialization processes. It elaborates the struggle of so called "Third World Countries" to catch up with modern Western consumer societies. In order to do justice to CARE's growing dimensions and to try to make sense of the various challenges arising from international operations, the book contains five main chapters on CARE's organizational development, with three case studies. It tells CARE's story on two different yet connected levels. First, it tells the story as a history of individuals and their interactions, conflicts, initiatives, and alliances within CARE and second as an organizational history focusing on institutional networks, CARE's role in international diplomacy. By the start of the 1960s CARE's strategically planned transformation into a development-oriented agency was in full swing. With United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Food for Peace, and the Peace Corps, several new government agencies in the development assistance sector were founded that offered potential junctions and opportunities for cooperation for CARE and the voluntary agencies in general.
This collection interrogates the representation of humanitarian crisis and
catastrophe, and the refraction of humanitarian intervention and action, from
the mid-twentieth century to the present, across a diverse range of media forms:
traditional and contemporary screen media (film, television and online video) as
well as newspapers, memoirs, music festivals and social media platforms (such as
Facebook, YouTube and Flickr). The book thus explores the historical, cultural
and political contexts that have shaped the mediation of humanitarian
relationships since the middle of the twentieth century. Together, the chapters
illustrate the continuities and connections, as well as the differences, which
have characterised the mediatisation of both states of emergency and acts of
amelioration. The authors reveal and explore the significant synergies between
the humanitarian enterprise, the endeavour to alleviate the suffering of
particular groups, and media representations, and their modes of addressing and
appealing to specific publics. The chapters consider the ways in which media
texts, technologies and practices reflect and shape the shifting moral,
political, ethical, rhetorical, ideological and material dimensions of
international humanitarian emergency and intervention, and have become integral
to the changing relationships between organisations, institutions, governments,
individual actors and entire sectors.
The history of relief work is in its infancy. This book draws on new archival research to reveal the priorities of nineteenth-century relief workers, and the legacies of their preoccupations for relief work today. It first explores the inauguration of the British National Society for Aid to the Sick and Wounded in War (NAS) at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 under the figurehead of Loyd Lindsay. Then, the book sees the revival of the NAS for work in the Balkans during a period of nationalist violence and Ottoman counter-insurgency which culminated in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. It also follows the staff of relief committees as they dispensed aid in British colonial wars. The book examines the critiques of British policy in the Boer War (1899-1902) emanating from intersecting circles of Quakers, New Liberals and ethicists, and considers these groups' offer of aid to Boer civilians. Further, the book concentrates on the methodologies of relief for Boer inmates of British concentration camps in South Africa and on the implications of this relief for its intended recipients during and after the war. It concentrates on aid to British soldiers. The book closes by tracing continuities in vocational practices and dispositions to emerging areas of concern in the post-war period, in particular child welfare, and briefly considers their implication for relief work today.
Throughout the 1990s, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) was forced to face the challenges posed by the genocide of Rwandan Tutsis and a succession of major outbreaks of political violence in Rwanda and its neighbouring countries. Humanitarian workers were confronted with the execution of close to one million people, tens of thousands of casualties pouring into health centres, the flight of millions of others who had sought refuge in camps and a series of deadly epidemics. Where and in what circumstances were the MSF teams deployed? What medical and non-medical assistance were they able to deliver? Drawing on various hitherto unpublished private and public archives, this book recounts the experiences of the MSF teams working in the field. It also describes the tensions (and cooperation) between international humanitarian agencies, the crucial negotiations conducted at local, national and international level and the media campaigns. The messages communicated to the public by MSF’s teams bear witness to diverse practical, ethical and political considerations. How to react when humanitarian workers are first-hand witnesses to mass crimes? How to avoid becoming accomplices to criminal stratagems? How to deliver effective aid in situations of extreme violence? This book is intended for humanitarian aid practitioners, students, journalists and researchers with an interest in genocide and humanitarian studies and the political sociology of international organisations.
This book is an attempt at a comprehensive presentation of the history of humanitarian intervention in the long nineteenth century, the heyday of this controversial doctrine. It starts with a brief presentation of the present situation and debate. The theoretical first part of the book starts with the genealogy of the idea, namely the quest for the progenitors of the idea in the sixteenth and seventeenth century which is a matter of controversy. Next the nineteenth century ‘civilization-barbarity’ dichotomy is covered and its bearing on humanitarian intervention, with its concomitant Eurocentric/Orientalist gaze towards the Ottomans and other states, concluding with the reaction of the Ottomans (as well as the Chinese and Japanese). Then the pivotal international law dimension is scrutinized, with the arguments of advocates and opponents of humanitarian intervention from the 1830s until the 1930s. The theoretical part of the book concludes with nineteenth century international political theory and intervention (Kant, Hegel, Cobden, Mazzini and especially J.S. Mill). In the practical second part of the book four cases studies of humanitarian intervention are examined in considerable detail: the Greek case (1821-1831), the Lebanon/Syria case (1860-61), the Balkan crisis and Bulgarian case (1875-78) in two chapters, and the U.S. intervention in Cuba (1895-98). Each cases study concludes with its bearing on the evolution of international norms and rules of conduct in instances of humanitarian plights. The concluding chapter identifies the main characteristics of intervention on humanitarian grounds during this period and today’s criticism and counter-criticism.
This book offers new insights into the history of the Red Cross Movement, the
world’s oldest humanitarian body originally founded in 1863 in Geneva,
Switzerland. Incorporating new research, the book reimagines and re-evaluates
the Red Cross as a global institutional network. It is the first book of its
kind to focus on the rise of the Red Cross, and analyses the emergence of
humanitarianism through a series of turning points, practices and myths. The
book explores the three unique elements that make up the Red Cross Movement: the
International Committee of the Red Cross; the International Federation of Red
Cross and Red Crescent, formerly known as the League of Red Cross Societies
(both based in Geneva); and the 191 national societies. It also coincides with
the centenary of the founding of the International Federation of the Red Cross
and Red Crescent, formed in May 1919 in the aftermath of the First World War.
The book will be invaluable for students, lecturers, humanitarian workers, and
those with a general interest in this highly recognizable and respected
humanitarian brand. With seventeen chapters by leading scholars and researchers
from Europe, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and America, the book deserves a
place on the bookshelves of historians and international relations scholars
interested to learn more about this unique, complex and contested
Scholars and practitioners alike have identified interventions on behalf of Armenians as watersheds in the history of humanitarianism. This volume reassesses these claims, critically examining a range of interventions by governments, international and diasporic organisations and individuals that aimed to bring ‘aid to Armenia’. Drawing on perspectives from a range of disciplines, the chapters trace the history of these interventions from the 1890s to the present, paying particular attention to the aftermaths of the Genocide and the upheavals of the post-Soviet period. Geographically, they connect diverse spaces, including the Caucasus, Russia and the Middle East, Europe, North America and South America, and Australia, revealing shifting transnational networks of aid and intervention. These chapters are followed by reflections by leading scholars in the fields of refugee history and Armenian history, Professor Peter Gatrell and Professor Ronald Grigor Suny, respectively.