Thursday, 15 January 2009

Shaping the Humanitarian World

The new book Shaping the Humanitarian World, by professors Peter Walker and Dan Maxwell at the Friedman School at Tufts, draws on years of leadership experience in promoting more effective humanitarian assistance. From the publisher, Routledge Press:
This book both describes the history of international humanitarian action, details its present structure, key organizations and methodologies and goes on to examine some of its most critical challenges. By tracing the history on international humanitarian action from its early roots through the birth of the Red Cross to the beginning of the UN, Walker & Maxwell examine the challenges humanitarian agencies face, from working alongside armies and terrorists to witnessing genocide. Particular emphasis is placed on the developments of the past fifteen years, the rise in humanitarian action as a political tool, the growing call for accountability of agencies, the switch of NGOs from bit players to major trans-national actors and the conflict between political action and humanitarian action when it comes to addressing causes as well as symptoms of crisis. Humanitarianism has a vital future, but only if those practicing it choose to make it so.

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