Academic journal article Military Review

CONTEMPORARY STATES OF EMERGENCY: The Politics of Military and Humanitarian Interventions

Academic journal article Military Review

CONTEMPORARY STATES OF EMERGENCY: The Politics of Military and Humanitarian Interventions

Article excerpt

CONTEMPORARY STATES OF EMERGENCY: The Politics of Military and Humanitarian Interventions, edited by Didier Fassin and Mariella Pandolfi, Zone Books, 201 0, New York, 406 pages, $36.95.

No relationship is more complex or internationally significant than the one between military forces and humanitarians. Seventeen top academic essayists explore this linkage and provide insights the military rarely hears. For example, a former vice president of Médecins San Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) describes the many divisions within the humanitarian world as these organizations struggle over direction and limited funding. Interestingly, the Greek Section of MSF was expelled during the Kosovo War after they sent a team to bring aid to hospitals in Pristina and Belgrade. In a nod to Clausewitz, an editor even asserts humanitarianism is nothing but the continuation of politics by other means.

The "Right to Intervene" has become an important tool of the United Nations' Security Council, used increasingly in mandates worldwide. The 1999 Kosovo experience was often discussed as a watershed event when MSF, the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees, and other humanitarian organizations openly sided with NATO and abandoned their normal neutrality. This collaboration has continued, although the International Committee of the Red Cross has discreetly warned that military intervention has actually increased the risk to aid workers.

Several of the more powerful essays concerned civilian deaths during military humanitarian operations, such as Kosovo or Somalia. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.