We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

History and Hope

The International Humanitarian Reader

Kevin M. Cahill

Publication Year: 2013

The International Humanitarian Affairs Reader is a compilation of the most important chapters in the ten volume series published on this topic by Fordham University Press. Each chapter selected has been edited to delete dated material; where appropriate, chapters will have a brief addendum to present current information.The Series Editor, Kevin M. Cahill M.D., will write a substantial introductory essay explaining the academic evolution of the discipline of international humanitarian assistance. It will focus on the "Fordham Experience"--its Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) has developed practical programs for training field workers, especially those dealing with complex emergencies following conflicts, man-made or natural disasters. The book series has been as essential part of this effort. The new International Humanitarian Affairs Reader will be divided into seven sections, each introduced by a "link" page providing continuity for the text. There will be extensive appendices to assist in finding basic acronyms, abbreviations, important conventions, treaties and accepted standards. One appendix will also provide the full table of contents for each volume in the series, and all chapters are available for digital download. The International Humanitarian Affairs Reader, scheduled for publication in Spring 2013, should provide the growing number of people--both within and outside academia--with a better understanding of the multi-faceted demands posed by humanitarian assistance programs. At Fordham University there are programs at both the undergraduate (Minor) and graduate (Masters) levels. Fordham's innovative, very intense, one-month residential course for experienced humanitarian workers--the International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance (IDHA)--is recognized worldwide. The Institute now has over 2000 graduates from 133 nations. Contributors to The International Humanitarian Affairs Reader include many of the leading figures in international diplomacy, relief and refugee operations, conflict resolution and reconciliation, and transition from disaster to stability and development, from the chaos of war to peace.

Published by: Fordham University Press

Series: International Humanitarian Affairs

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF (128.7 KB)
pp. 1-6


pdf iconDownload PDF (73.8 KB)
pp. vii-x

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (88.6 KB)
pp. xi-xii

The pursuit of the goals of humanitarianism, whether through assistance or intervention, has no single way, follows no preconceived pattern. Almost by definition, each experience is different. This means, more perhaps than in any other human activity, that practitioners have to be ready to learn from experience and adapt to circumstance. ...

Acronyms and Abbreviations

pdf iconDownload PDF (90.1 KB)
pp. xiii-xviii

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (78.5 KB)
pp. xix-xx

As I prepare this book for publication, selecting chapters from twelve volumes in the International Humanitarian Affairs book series, editing, deleting, and updating texts so that they will be useful to students and practitioners for years to come, I offer, once again, my gratitude to all the past contributors, ...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (120.7 KB)
pp. 1-12

History and Hope: The International Humanitarian Reader is a compendium drawn from some of the best chapters on various aspects of humanitarian assistance in a series that I have written or edited for Fordham University Press since 2001, numbering twelve volumes to date. ...

read more

Part I. History

pdf iconDownload PDF (85.9 KB)
pp. 13-35

History and Hope opens, appropriately, with an essay on the modern history of humanitarian action, and a chapter detailing the ethical and legal foundations of the discipline. Both cite the dangers that recent trends, particularly the “war on terror,” pose to hard won, almost universally accepted, positions assuring the independence of international humanitarian assistance. ...

read more

Humanitarian Action in the Twenty-First Century: The Danger of a Setback

pdf iconDownload PDF (151.0 KB)
pp. 14-25

Humanitarian action as envisaged by Henry Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross Movement, is both simple—it is based on the natural human tendency to respect a fellow human—and original—Dunant wished to apply that common sense principle in systematic fashion, even in war. ...

read more

Humanitarian Ethical and Legal Standards

pdf iconDownload PDF (142.2 KB)
pp. 26-39

International instruments of human rights and of international humanitarian law are not the only sources providing these fundamental guarantees.2 International law is only one of the many sources of humanitarian standards. Legal mechanisms alone are insufficient to provide for an effective protection of fundamental human values. ...

read more

Humanitarian Vignettes

pdf iconDownload PDF (91.6 KB)
pp. 40-42

Radio communication is vital in a relief and humanitarian setting; it is relatively cheap to establish—after the initial purchase of hardware—and costs nothing to run. Radio frequencies are normally allocated to various humanitarian actors by the national government; ...

read more

Humanitarian Response in the Era of Global Mobile Information Technology

pdf iconDownload PDF (121.6 KB)
pp. 43-52

Technology is among the most difficult topics to tackle in a chapter designed to be relevant for more than a few months. The digital revolution has brought, and is still bringing, many positive changes to the world. In the humanitarian sector, technology has revitalized worldwide volunteerism through crowdsourcing, ...

read more

Part II. Principles/Values

pdf iconDownload PDF (53.4 KB)
pp. 53-75

In this section, some of the humanitarian communities most distinguished practitioners reflect on fundamental principles and values. The former Directors of Doctors Without Borders and Amnesty International provide cautionary advice— how one can sacrifice gains to the cause of expediency. ...

read more

Neutrality or Impartiality

pdf iconDownload PDF (132.8 KB)
pp. 54-68

The construction of a new world order and the evolution of the United Nations after World War II have been guided by the principle: Never again! The Nazis’ unprecedented crimes became a benchmark for an international community founded on certain basic values: opposition to genocide, the search for world peace, and respect for human rights. ...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (153.8 KB)
pp. 69-83

Torture has been and remains a constant in human society; its history is closely linked to the evolution of state powers and the exercise of authority.1 In all circumstances, the notion of torture has two essential elements: the purposeful infliction of pain, usually described as excruciating, and an ulterior motive in the interests of the authority responsible for the torture.2 ...

read more

Issues of Power and Gender in Complex Emergencies

pdf iconDownload PDF (137.8 KB)
pp. 84-96

Two key issues dramatically affect the lives of women and children caught in the chaos of complex humanitarian emergencies: protection and equal access to relief goods and services. Equal access means that women and girls have the same access and rights to relief items, shelter, health services, access to clean water, sanitation facilities, ...

read more

Terrorism: Theory and Reality

pdf iconDownload PDF (133.1 KB)
pp. 97-111

The semantics of studies on terrorism seem to strive more for political correctness than for presenting an accurate picture of the soil in which these terrible acts are usually born, gestate, and explode. Definitions divorced from reality offer, at best, a two dimensional view of a multifaceted problem. ...

read more

A Human Rights Agenda for Global Security

pdf iconDownload PDF (114.8 KB)
pp. 112-122

Human rights are often used by governments as a cloak to put on or cast off according to political expediency, and the UN is often powerless to render states accountable for their adherence to international law and human rights performance. In the words of Michael Ignatieff: ...

read more

Part III. Evolving Norms

pdf iconDownload PDF (53.6 KB)
pp. 123-145

Over the tumultuous half-century I have been involved in international humanitarian assistance, there have been, not surprisingly, shifting parameters and standards to help guide our actions. This section offers four important views of both positive and negative adaptation to the harsh realities and challenges of complex humanitarian crises. ...

read more

The Limits of Sovereignty

pdf iconDownload PDF (148.7 KB)
pp. 124-139

Displacement in all its manifestations, internal and external, has become a global crisis of grave and escalating magnitude. Since the end of the Cold War, the number of people displaced within the borders of their own countries has soared to an estimated twenty to twenty-five million, and the number of refugees is now estimated at over eleven million. ...

read more

The Child Protection Viewpoint

pdf iconDownload PDF (150.9 KB)
pp. 140-154

I offer personal, field-based perspectives on the often fraught relationship between education1 and child protection in armed conflict. This personal perspective, garnered from years working in the protection field, will remove us from the world of guidelines and policies and return us to the flesh-and-bone realities around the globe, ...

read more

Preserving Humanitarian Space in Long-Term Conflict

pdf iconDownload PDF (130.5 KB)
pp. 155-168

With very few exceptions, it has been considered self-evident among those in the humanitarian community that to achieve a reasonable measure of success humanitarian action in conflict zones should be predicated upon notions of neutrality and impartiality. ...

read more

Humanitarian Action in a New Barbarian Age

pdf iconDownload PDF (108.9 KB)
pp. 169-176

If the hope for human progress and for a better world can be said to rest on anything, it rests on the great documents of international law that have been promulgated since the end of the Second World War. These include, first and foremost, the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. ...

read more

Part IV. Actors

pdf iconDownload PDF (54.1 KB)
pp. 177-199

The ultimate challenge early in humanitarian crises is to maintain a necessary equanimity in the face of terrible disorder, so that one can forge an effective response. One must channel the skills and energies of the multiple actors that are required to change, at first, chaos into a semblance of stability, and later, hopefully, into peace. ...

read more

The Challenges of Preventive Diplomacy: The Role of the United Nations and Its Secretary-General

pdf iconDownload PDF (128.2 KB)
pp. 178-191

In matters of peace and security, as in medicine, prevention is self-evidently better than cure. It saves lives and money and it forestalls suffering. Since the end of the Cold War, preventive action has become a top priority for the United Nations. ...

read more

Initial Response to Complex Emergencies and Natural Disasters

pdf iconDownload PDF (194.6 KB)
pp. 192-207

On January 17, 2002, one of Africa’s most active volcanoes unexpectedly erupted in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As lava rapidly advanced toward the lakeside city below, fuel depots erupted into slow burning fires, tremors and shocks crumbled buildings and collapsed houses, heat and lava flows destroyed water and electrical systems, ...

read more

The Peacekeeping Prescription

pdf iconDownload PDF (129.0 KB)
pp. 208-221

If I were a doctor examining the health of the world today, I would be greatly alarmed at the state of my patient. The international community, vibrant in its resolve to achieve a strong, stable, and healthy political environment as the post– Cold War era began, has been drained and weakened by one bout after another of violent conflict during the last decade. ...

read more

Reviving Global Civil Society After September 11

pdf iconDownload PDF (134.0 KB)
pp. 222-234

9/11 challenged the American way of life in a manner that is unprecedented, and it is evolving with a significance of which we are only beginning to grasp. To uphold the blessings of democracy, we must start with the understanding that as members of a constitutional republic, we are citizens and not subjects. ...

read more

The Academy and Humanitarian Action

pdf iconDownload PDF (106.6 KB)
pp. 235-242

Humanitarian action is ordinarily understood to involve a response to the needs of individuals and communities afflicted by different kinds of calamities, both those that are natural, like earthquakes and typhoons, and those that are the result of human intervention, like wars and political repression. ...

read more

Government Responses to Foreign Policy Challenges

pdf iconDownload PDF (182.3 KB)
pp. 243-254

It is remarkable how much the preambles of constitutions have in common. Even when their authors come from different historical, religious, and cultural traditions, these documents extol the dignity of all citizens and defend the exercise of freedom and rights while proclaiming the unity of a people in a national politic. ...

read more

Disasters and the Media

pdf iconDownload PDF (132.1 KB)
pp. 255-269

For the media, a disaster is not a tragedy. It is a challenge, an opportunity. A challenge for the traditional media to find out what is happening, how to get there, what is at stake, who is to blame. For the nontraditional media, the tweeters, Facebook friends, and bloggers, it is how to get the message out, ...

read more

Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination: Looking Beyond the “Latest and Greatest”

pdf iconDownload PDF (142.7 KB)
pp. 270-286

There is a tendency, in a world of increasingly ephemeral attention spans, to pay greater attention to the “latest and greatest” developments to generalize about current topics. Behavioral psychologists and economists call this the “availability heuristic.” ...

read more

Part V. Operational

pdf iconDownload PDF (53.6 KB)
pp. 287-309

In this section, four humanitarian specialists with extensive operational experience consider some of the specialized approaches that are essential in providing a comprehensive and efficient response to a complex emergency. There are accepted methods for rapid health assessments that will guide the early days in a disaster, ...

read more

Evidence-Based Health Assessment Process in Complex Emergencies

pdf iconDownload PDF (172.3 KB)
pp. 288-302

Disaster assessment is defined as the “survey of a real or potential disaster to estimate the actual or expected damages and to make recommendations for preparedness, mitigation and relief action.”1 In natural disasters, such as rapid onset earthquakes and cyclones, the health consequences are usually the direct results of injury or death. ...

read more

Teamwork in Emergency Humanitarian Relief Situations

pdf iconDownload PDF (174.5 KB)
pp. 303-319

Effective team functioning in disasters is often underestimated until it can no longer be ignored. The importance of teamwork to the success of a mission cannot be overemphasized. In the urgency of a disaster or a sudden public health threat everyone’s energy and focus is given to the technical components. ...

read more

Education as a Survival Strategy: Sixty Years of Schooling for Palestinian Refugees

pdf iconDownload PDF (155.4 KB)
pp. 320-334

In times of war, still photography retains a singular ability to transfix and disturb. From the carefully crafted and sometimes dissembled compositions by the legendary annalists of the American Civil War to the “trophy shots” of torture and abuse of Iraqi detainees in Abu Ghraib, ...

read more

What Can Modern Society Learn from Indigenous Resiliency?

pdf iconDownload PDF (94.3 KB)
pp. 335-338

The Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2011 found that “a lot of knowledge about climate adaptation is not reaching those who need it the most.” How much more of a challenge is it, then, to get information, good practices, and capacity-building tools into the hands of indigenous communities using non-mainstream languages, ...

read more

Part VI. Exit Strategies

pdf iconDownload PDF (54.0 KB)
pp. 339-361

After the immediate challenges of disasters are addressed survivors need to regain a sense of security, reuniting families and rebuilding community structures. This process should begin as soon as a relief program is developed for vulnerable, displaced people, ...

read more

To Bind Our Wounds: A One-Year Post-9/11 Address

pdf iconDownload PDF (110.8 KB)
pp. 340-345

Throughout the centuries, those who survive disasters have offered memorials to the dead, and they have done so with different tools and different skills: Picasso did it for the victims of Guernica with oil paints. Verdi mourned the poet/patriot Manzoni with a musical masterpiece. ...

read more

The Transition from Conflict to Peace

pdf iconDownload PDF (114.4 KB)
pp. 346-355

Humanitarian assistance workers may find themselves hopelessly confused by the range of problems facing a society struggling to move from war to peace. These problems can be approached from many directions: the shift from emergency relief into longer-range development assistance; ...

read more

Humanitarianism’s Age of Reason

pdf iconDownload PDF (131.0 KB)
pp. 356-369

In postconflict situations, the first challenge is to identify the sequence of events preceding conflict resolution, and how one classifies what has apparently ended is of utmost importance. Was it really a conflict? Then, what kind of conflict was it? ...

read more

Healing with a Single History

pdf iconDownload PDF (126.2 KB)
pp. 370-380

There is no democracy in which justice and the rule of law are not axiomatically assumed to be foundational principles. In 1895, Professor A. V. Dicey, the great English legal philosopher, defined the principles of the Rule of Law. ...

read more

Part VII. Epilogue

pdf iconDownload PDF (73.8 KB)
pp. 381-403

This Reader concludes, as the International Humanitarian Affairs Book Series began, with a short essay combining dreams, hopes, and reality, and then with a poem. This chapter offers some philosophic reflections drawn from personal experiences in a career that has linked my own profession in clinical tropical medicine ...

read more

The Evolution of a Tropicalist

pdf iconDownload PDF (106.4 KB)
pp. 382-388

The eighth Jubilee Edition of Tropical Medicine: A Clinical Text concludes with some personal reflections on my own professional journey. When the initial chapters of my first book were serialized in the New York State Journal of Medicine in 1961, I was a young physician who had been introduced to tropical infections on a fellowship in Calcutta, India. ...

Disturb Us, O Lord

pdf iconDownload PDF (75.7 KB)
pp. 389-390

Appendix: The IIHA Resource Library

pdf iconDownload PDF (75.0 KB)
pp. 391-392


pdf iconDownload PDF (247.6 KB)
pp. 393-428

List of Contributors

pdf iconDownload PDF (99.9 KB)
pp. 429-432

read more

The Center for International Humanitarian Cooperation and the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs

pdf iconDownload PDF (88.1 KB)
pp. 433-434

The Center for International Humanitarian Cooperation (CIHC) was founded in 1992 to promote healing and peace in countries shattered by natural disasters, armed conflicts, and ethnic violence. The Center employs its resources and unique personal contacts to stimulate interest in humanitarian issues and to promote innovative educational programs and training models. ...


pdf iconDownload PDF (131.0 KB)
pp. 435-442

E-ISBN-13: 9780823251988
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823251964
Print-ISBN-10: 0823251969

Page Count: 464
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: Cloth
Series Title: International Humanitarian Affairs