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Book review: Michael Barnett and Thomas G. Weiss (eds), humanitarianism in question: politics, power, ethics

Radice, Henry (2010) Book review: Michael Barnett and Thomas G. Weiss (eds), humanitarianism in question: politics, power, ethics. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 38 (3). pp. 842-843. ISSN 0305-8298

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Identification Number: 10.1177/03058298100380030801

Abstract

In an exemplary introductory chapter, the editors situate this collection in relation to the ‘contemporary debate over the purposes, principles, and politics of humanitarianism’, which ‘reveals a struggle to (re)define the humanitarian identity’ (p. 5). As such, the book is aimed squarely at an achingly difficult yet vitally important set of problems. Already riddled with self-doubt at the close of the 20th century, humanitarians are if anything even less sure of their footing a decade on. Chastened by their perceived instrumentalisation in Afghanistan and Iraq, they are still haunted by the failings of an ‘apolitical’ humanitarianism in Bosnia and Rwanda. The struggle for humanitarian identity is as fraught as it ever has been, even as the sector continues to expand.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://mil.sagepub.com/
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International Development
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2013 15:27
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2019 09:39
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/48572

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