When does humanitarian action become political action? What is and what is not humanitarianism?

CMI researcher Antonio De Lauri will give the NMBU Lecture in Global Development Studies 2019.

When does humanitarian action become political action? How do humanitarian actors negotiate their space of intervention in contexts governed by strong political agendas and military forces? Defining what is and what is not humanitarianism is increasingly difficult in a global context where, on the one hand, humanitarian crises proliferate and, on the other, humanitarian discourses are mobilized by a growing plurality of actors including NGOs, diplomats, activists and soldiers. Building on the analysis of ideas and practices of international interventions and humanitarian diplomacy, the lecture addresses the negotiated nature of humanitarian aid in contexts of conflict and complex emergency. It discusses (1) the difficulty in prioritizing humanitarian principles in contingent situations, (2) the exploitative dimension of humanitarian discourses in broad international political agendas, and (3) the current professionalization of humanitarian negotiations as a key instrument of foreign policy.

Antonio de Lauri is an anthropologist working on legal anthropology, freedom, war and humanitarianism issues. 

The NMBU Lecture in Global Development Studies is an annual event in association with the university's Master Programme in Global Development Studies.  

Open event, all welcome.