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Sans-Frontiérisme and the Rise of “New Humanitarianism”

Sans-Frontiérisme and the Rise of “New Humanitarianism”

(p.116) Five Sans-Frontiérisme and the Rise of “New Humanitarianism”
Above the Fray
Shai M. Dromi
University of Chicago Press

To what extent does the contemporary transnational humanitarian field continue to bear the mark of the religious faith of its founders? This chapter shows that although the field has seen significant upheavals, its core identity and logics have persevered since the late-nineteenth-century. However, humanitarians have continuously disagreed about the ways in which they believed core field values should be realized. The chapter traces the increasing contestation among humanitarian actors over the proper ways to organize their field. It focuses in particular on the 1970s rise of Doctors without Borders, a movement highly critical of Red Cross organizational and ethical logics. The chapter shows that despite the multiple aspirations for revolution, Doctors without Borders had to rely on the existing moral infrastructure laid in place by the Red Cross to gain a prominent standing in the civil sphere.

Keywords:   new humanitarianism, International Committee of the Red Cross, Médecins sans Frontières, Nigerian Civil War, témoignage, Holocaust, social fields, Rony Brauman, Max Huber, Bernard Kouchner

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