DV528 Half Unit
This information is for the 2022/23 session.
Dr Stuart Gordon, CON 8.10
This course is available on the MRes/PhD in International Development. This course is not available as an outside option.
The course looks at international, national and local responses to conflict and natural disasters. Building on an analysis of the causes, construction and consequences of humanitarian disasters, this course focuses on humanitarian actors (including aid workers, journalists, medics, government officials, soldiers, politicians and peace negotiators). It considers the principles and the politics of humanitarian action, exploring the overlaps and tensions between practices of humanitarian assistance and humanitarian intervention and how humanitarian institutions shape and are shaped by global governance and state power. It asks how humanitarianism relates to ideas about human rights and justice, and the politics of securitisation. It considers why humanitarian organisations and governments respond to some crises and not to others as well as the critique of humanitarian assistance and the ways in which the UN and NGO communities have sought to professionalise their activities. The course also looks at how recipients of humanitarian aid respond to these programmes, and in some cases subvert or transform them into quite different projects. Case studies will be drawn primarily from Africa, Central and South Asia and Latin America. However, there is also likely to be discussion of ongoing humanitarian emergencies, wherever they are located.
20 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT.
This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars in the MT.
Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6.
Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the MT.
This will be a formative plan for the research paper (1000 words) on which the student will receive feedback.
Stuart Gordon and Antonio Donini ‘Romancing Principles and Human Rights - Are Humanitarian Principles Salvageable?’ International Review of the Red Cross / Volume 97 / Issue 897-898 / June 2015, pp 77-109;
M. Barnett, (2011). Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism, Ithaca: Cornell University Press;
M. Barnett, M. Barnett & T. G. Weiss (Eds.), 2008. Humanitarianism in Question Politics Power and Ethics, Ithaca: Cornell University Press;
A. De Waal, 1997. Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa. Oxford:James Currey;
G. Loescher, (2001). The UNHCR and World Politics, Oxford University Press;
D. Rieff, (2002). A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis, Vintage/Random House.
Essay (100%, 4000 words) in the MT.
Department: International Development
Total students 2021/22: Unavailable
Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable
Value: Half Unit
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