Type: Contribution to book
Humanitarian actors and international political theory
Chris BROWN and Robyn ECKERSLEY (eds), The Oxford handbook of international political theory, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. 316-329[IOW]
WELSH, Jennifer M., Humanitarian actors and international political theory, in Chris BROWN and Robyn ECKERSLEY (eds), The Oxford handbook of international political theory, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. 316-329[IOW] - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/60605
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
This chapter examines how contemporary humanitarian institutions interpret and implement their normative responsibilities in international society. It analyses a specific subset of actors—the United Nations and humanitarian NGOs—and the impact of their attempts to privilege a more “individualist,” or cosmopolitan, approach to the mitigation and regulation of armed conflict. The chapter sets out the core values of humanitarian action, including humanity and impartiality, and then illustrates how the process of “individualization”—which challenges the primacy of collective entities such as warring parties or sovereign states —has created both normative and operational dilemmas for humanitarian actors. In the case of the UN, the imperative to protect individual human rights has transformed the practice of peacekeeping, through a robust interpretation of impartiality, while for humanitarian NGOs it has spawned efforts to address not only the immediate suffering produced by armed conflict but also the underlying causes of vulnerability.
Online Publication Date: Apr 2018; Print Publication Date: Mar 2018
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/60605
Full-text via DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198746928.013.23
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Grant number: FP7/340956/EU
Sponsorship and Funder information:
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013) / ERC Grant Agreement No 340956 - IOW - The Individualisation of War: Reconfiguring the Ethics, Law, and Politics of Armed Conflict.
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