Humanitarianism, War, and Politics: Solferino to Syria and Beyond

Humanitarianism, War, and Politics: Solferino to Syria and Beyond

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What is humanitarianism? This authoritative book provides a comprehensive analysis of the original idea and its evolution, exploring its triangulation with war and politics. Peter J. Hoffman and Thomas G. Weiss trace the origins of humanitarianism, its social movement, and the institutions (international humanitarian law) and organizations (providers of assistance and protection) that comprise it. They consider the international humanitarian system’s ability to regulate the conduct of war, to improve the wellbeing of its victims, and to prosecute war criminals. Probing the profound changes in the culture and capacities that underpin the sector and alter the meaning of humanitarianism, they assess the reinventions that constitute “revolutions in humanitarian affairs.”

The book begins with traditions and perspectives—ranging from classic international relations approaches to “Critical Humanitarian Studies” —and reviews seminal wartime emergencies and the creation and development of humanitarian agencies in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The authors then examine the rise of “new humanitarianisms” after the Cold War’s end and contemporary cases after 9/11. The authors continue by unpacking the most recent “revolutions”—the International Criminal Court and the “Responsibility to Protect”—as well as such core challenges as displacement camps, infectious diseases, eco-refugees, and marketization. They conclude by evaluating the contemporary system and the prospects for further transformations, identifying scholarly puzzles and the acute operational problems faced by practitioners.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442266131
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 06/27/2017
Series: New Millennium Books in International Studies Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 344
Sales rank: 839,907
Product dimensions: 5.86(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

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

Table of Contents

List of Tables, Boxes, and Maps xi

List of Abbreviations xiii

Foreword Jan Egeland xvii

Preface xxi

Introduction: Humanitarian Cosmology and Mythology 1

What Is Humanitarianism? 4

Social Science and the Study of Humanitarianism 6

The Argument 9

About the Book 12

1 Humanitarian Culture, Traditions, and Theories: Concepts and Tools 17

Humanitarian Values and Visions 18

Humanitarian Organizations and IR Theory 19

Humanitarian Organizations and Critical Theory 21

Just War 29

Early Thinkers and IHL 31

Debates about Just War 33

Conclusion: The Meaning and Place of Humanitarianism 35

2 Humanitarian Genesis and Gravity: Solferino to Biafra and African Famines 37

The Crystallization of Modern Humanitarianism 38

The Birth of IHL and the ICRC 41

Two World Wars and Humanitarian Aftermaths 44

New Actors and Tools Early in the Cold War 48

New Humanitarian Wrinkles Later in the Cold War 50

Conclusion: The International Humanitarian System in Historical Perspective 53

3 New Wars and New Humanitarianisms in the 1990s: Northern Iraq, Somalia, Rwanda, and the Balkans 57

The Humanitarian Landscape at the Cold War's End 59

Northern Iraq: Coercing Access and Confronting Sanctions 60

Somalia: Conflict, Crisis, and Syndrome 65

Rwanda: Genocide, Global Response, and Ghosts 72

Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo: Well-Fed Dead and "Humanitarian War" 79

The Meaning of the 1990s for Humanitarians 87

Conclusion: New Humanitarianisms in Historical Perspective 92

4 Humanitarianism and Security: The Responsibility to Protect 95

Background 96

The International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty 100

Contemporary Politics and R2P 103

The Enduring Debate 105

Conclusion: Explaining and Evaluating R2P 110

5 Humanitarianism Adjudicated: The International Criminal Court 113

Jus Post Bellum and War Crimes 114

International Justice for War Crimes Prior to 1998 115

The Rome Statute and the ICC's Formation 121

The ICC as an International Organization 124

Conclusion: Evaluating the ICC's Prosecution of War Crimes 126

6 Humanitarianism in the Post-9/11 World: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria 131

Afghanistan: Counterterrorism and Asphyxiated Humanitarianism 132

Iraq: Civil War and Tainted Humanitarianism 139

Libya: The Arab Spring and Reborn Humanitarianism 144

Syria: Endless Atrocities and Stillborn Humanitarianism 152

Conclusion: Revisiting Humanitarian Action and Intervention 160

7 Humanitarianism Forgotten and Forsaken: Darfur, South Sudan, Uganda, and Neglected Victims 167

Darfur: Humanitarian Sideshow 169

South Sudan: Born into Crisis 173

Uganda: A Moving Humanitarian Target 176

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: A Blind Spot 179

Conclusion: Marginalized Disasters, or Humanitarianism Lost in Translation 183

8 Humanitarian Limbo: Displaced Populations, Prolonged Suffering, Contested Camps 187

The Problem of Forced Displacement 188

Fixing the Problem 195

The Problem with Fixing the Problem 200

Europe's Contemporary Crisis 202

The Meaning of "Refugee-Terrorist" 203

Conclusion: Displacement, Domination, Dysfunction 205

9 The Humanitarian-Industrial Complex: Media and Markets 209

The Media: Mercy as Spectacle 212

Celebrity Humanitarianism: Mercy as Accessory 218

The Market: Mercy as Commodity 219

Private Security Contractors: Mercy and Mercenaries 225

Conclusion: Humanitarianism's Value and Humanitarian Values 228

10 Humanitarianism Unbound: Public Health Disasters and Environmental Emergencies 231

Infectious Diseases and the Humanitarian Agenda 232

HIV/AIDS and Ebola 235

Public Health Challenges and Humanitarianism 237

The Humanitarian Impact of Environmental Crises 239

Climate Refugees 243

Environmental Challenges and Humanitarianism 245

Conclusion: If Humanitarianism Bends, Does It Break? 246

11 The Study and Practice of Humanitarianism: Making Sense and Finding Meaning in Saving People 249

Condition of the Humanitarian Sector 250

The Revolution in Humanitarian Affairs 258

Lessons from Loss or Lessons Lost? 266

Notes 275

Index 303

About the Authors 319

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Humanitarianism, War, and Politics: Solferino to Syria and Beyond 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Michelle Anglin More than 1 year ago
Peter Hoffman and Thomas Weiss' analysis on the idea of humanitarianism outlines not only the movement but the institutions and organizations that contribute to the very phenomenon that is humanitarianism. In the first 3 chapters, Hoffman and Weiss carefully outline traditional approaches to "Criminal Humanitarian Studies" and in doing so describe the development of humanitarian efforts prior to the Cold War. The authors strategically weigh the pro's and the con's of humanitarian assistance, its history, as well as the effect these efforts have on global affairs today. This analysis is not only imperative to the study of humanitarianism but provides a thorough historical context in exploring both the intentions and limitations behind it.