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Humanitarianism, War, and Politics


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Table of Contents

Introduction Humanitarian Cosmology and Mythology Chapter 1 Humanitarian Culture, Traditions, and Theories Chapter 2 Humanitarian Genesis and Gravity: Solferino to Biafra and African Famine Chapter 3 The New Wars and New Humanitarianisms of the 1990s: Northern Iraq, Somalia, Rwanda, and the Balkans Chapter 4 Humanitarianism and Security: The Responsibility to Protect Chapter 5 Humanitarianism Adjudicated: The International Criminal Court Chapter 6 Humanitarianism in the Post-9/11 World: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria Chapter 7 Humanitarianism Forgotten and Forsaken: Darfur, South Sudan, Uganda, and Neglected Victims Chapter 8 Humanitarian Limbo: Displaced Populations, Protracted Situations, Contested Camps Chapter 9 The Humanitarian-Industrial Complex: Media and Markets Chapter 10 Humanitarianism Unbound: Public Health Disasters and Environmental Emergencies Chapter 11 The Study and Practice of Humanitarianism: Making Sense and Finding Meaning in Saving People

About the Author

Peter J. Hoffman is Julien J. Studley Faculty Fellow and assistant professor in The Graduate Program in International Affairs, The New School. Thomas G. Weiss is Presidential Professor of Political Science at The Graduate Center, The City University of New York.


Hoffman and Weiss do a masterful job of analyzing unfolding changes in bedrock principles that produce the shifting sands of politics seen in ideas, actions, and results... Humanitarianism, War, and Politics is absolutely essential reading for both academics and humanitarian practitioners -- Jan Egeland, Secretary-General, Norwegian Refugee Council, and former UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator
The early decades of the 21st century have witnessed a profound crisis in humanitarianism, marked not only by the shrinking space within which humanitarian actors now work, but also by declining funding and political support. In Humanitarianism, War and Politics, Hoffman and Weiss give us both an interpretive 'toolkit' and historically-informed analysis to explain why and how humanitarianism is under siege. They illuminate the various forms of power that underpin humanitarian action, and how the inescapably political process of allocating rights, relief and refuge has been affected by the changing nature of armed conflict. The book is essential reading for those seeking to understand the roots of humanitarianism's current malaise, as well as for those endeavoring to reinvigorate humanitarianism, and enhance its impact, in the years ahead. -- Jennifer Welsh, Professor and Chair in International Relations, European University Institute and former Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect
Humanitarianism has a complicated history. It is a project that refuses to be a bystander to a world that creates and accepts so much needless suffering. While its motives might be high-minded, the action itself is filled with moral compromises, failures, and human and political limits. This is a difficult story to tell, requiring not cynicism but sobriety along with elements of hope. Hoffman and Weiss's Humanitarianism, War, and Politics captures this history and its ambiguities. Highs and lows. Accomplishments and failures. And, ultimately, having to make tough and rotten choices. -- Michael Barnett, University Professor, George Washington University

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