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John Holmes was the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs from 2007 until 2010. His work took him to some of the most troubled areas of the world: to Sri Lanka, Darfur, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, among other places, and exposed him to the harsh realities of humanitarian aid. Frequently he found that the UN's humanitarian programmes in these hotspots were tolerated but consistently undermined and mistrusted by both sides in any conflict, and its efforts to protect civilians and provide humanitarian relief frustrated by people working for purely political ends. Clear-eyed about the realities of development aid, Holmes realised early on that his role was to be a voice to the voiceless. THE POLITICS OF HUMANITY exposes, in often depressing detail, how difficult this job is, as well as analysing and exploring in great depth the wider policy questions of his role.
In this moment of unprecedented humanitarian crises, the representations of global disasters are increasingly common media themes around the world. The Routledge Companion to Media and Humanitarian Action explores the interconnections between media, old and new, and the humanitarian challenges that have come to define the twenty-first century. Contributors, including media professionals and experts in humanitarian affairs, grapple with what kinds of media language, discourse, terms, and campaigns can offer enough context and background knowledge to nurture informed global citizens. Case studies of media practices, content analysis and evaluation of media coverage, and representations of humanitarian emergencies and affairs offer further insight into the ways in which strategic communications are designed and implemented in field of humanitarian action.
The media reporting of the Ethiopian Famine in 1984-5 was an iconic news event. It is widely believed to have had an unprecedented impact, challenging perceptions of Africa and mobilising public opinion and philanthropic action in a dramatic new way. The contemporary international configuration of aid, media pressure, and official policy is still directly affected and sometimes distorted by what was--as this narrative shows--also an inaccurate and misleading story. In popular memory, the reporting of Ethiopia and the resulting humanitarian intervention were a great success. Yet alternative interpretations give a radically different picture of misleading journalism and an aid effort which did more harm than good. Using privileged access to BBC and Government archives, Reporting Disasters examines and reveals the internal factors which drove BBC news and offers a rare case study of how the media can affect public opinion and policymaking. It constructs the process that accounts for the immensity of the news event, following the response at the heart of government to the pressure of public opinion. And it shows that while the reporting and the altruistic festival that it produced triggered remarkable and identifiable changes, the on-going impact was not what the conventional account claims it to have been.
The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principle is the international community's major response to the problem of genocide and mass atrocities. Although far from perfect, this book argues that R2P offers the best chance we have of building an international community that works to prevent these crimes and protect vulnerable populations.
Innovation in the world institutions and global politics as well as in the physical environment and practices of the contemporary societies has raised the need for specific and up-to-date knowledge about the politics and policies of relief, aid and reconstruction. This book advances the political analysis of international disaster policies which have been mostly in the domain of other social sciences. Attina looks at the formation of this field of study and analyses the most recent disaster events including the Haiti earthquake, the tsunami which hit the Pacific Ocean countries and the genocide in Rwanda and Former Yugoslavia. Broadly linked to constructivism and neo-institutionalism, this book looks also at the impact of these cooperation policies on the governance of the present global system.
Master's Thesis from the year 2006 in the subject Politics - International Politics - Topic: Development Politics, grade: 1,7, Ruhr-University of Bochum (Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict), course: European Masterprogram on Humanitarian Action (NOHA), 107 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality provide an ethical framework that defines and delineates the humanitarian space within which relief agencies are supposed to operate. Current experiences, however, show that these traditional principles were not designed to cope with the development underlying the increasing merging of humanitarian aid and politics. To avoid political manipulation, relief organizations must rethink these traditional principles and face the responsibility of getting more involved in the broader political arena to be able to take appropriate action, and to avoid longterm damages on a society. The ‘Sphere’ project, which was launched to improve the quality of humanitarian action and to put relief aid on a legal basis as set forth by international law, acknowledges the dependence of humanitarian aid on external political decisions. Still, it emphasizes traditional principles and expresses agencies’ commitment to act in accordance with them. ‘Sphere’s actual value must therefore be seen in defining a common basis around which agencies, donors and governing authorities can potentially agree on. It provides a basis for defining core humanitarian responsibilities that recognizes the limits of humanitarian action, while setting an agenda for individual and collective action. Even though the attempt to define humanitarian principles that serve as blueprints in every global emergency for all humanitarian organizations does not seem to be achievable, the importance of ethical guidelines and benchmarks still exists. The heterogeneity of relief work is just a phenomenon, which is based in the nature of humanitarianism and this will always put a stamp on attempts to find common standards, principles and codes.
A history of the relationship between the United States and foreign countries through its humanitarian interventions in the early 20th century.

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