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Counter-terrorism and humanitarian action: UK INGO responses since 2015

Nadel, Sam and Walton, Oliver (2023) Counter-terrorism and humanitarian action: UK INGO responses since 2015. Disasters. ISSN 0361-3666

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Identification Number: 10.1111/disa.12603


There has been growing awareness in recent years of the wide-ranging negative impacts that counter-terrorism measures and sanctions impose on humanitarian action. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with the staff of international non-governmental organisations (INGOs), this paper examines these impacts on INGOs based in the United Kingdom. This is a context where a particularly complex array of laws, policies, and regulatory regimes have emerged alongside an increasingly hostile political and media setting for INGOs, creating an environment characterised by uncertainty. The paper shows that counter-terrorism measures and sanctions are leading INGOs to adopt more conservative approaches to partnership in areas controlled by proscribed groups, undermining broader commitments to the localisation agenda. The analysis reveals that perceptions of risk within INGOs vary considerably, but that despite this, INGOs have developed strategies to reduce the impacts of counter-terrorism measures, which over time, have led to improved coordination, and in some instances, a willingness to push back against regulations.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Authors
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2023 14:09
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2024 00:09

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