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Humanitarianism in the Modern World: The Moral Economy of Famine Relief

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"The book takes a fresh look at humanitarian action through the concept of moral economy. It suggests a revised periodisation of humanitarianism by analogy to politico-economic regimes, rather than geopolitical sequencing: moving from ad hoc humanitarianism (c. 1800-1900); to organised humanitarianism (c. 1900-70); and expressive humanitarianism (since c. 1970). It moves t "The book takes a fresh look at humanitarian action through the concept of moral economy. It suggests a revised periodisation of humanitarianism by analogy to politico-economic regimes, rather than geopolitical sequencing: moving from ad hoc humanitarianism (c. 1800-1900); to organised humanitarianism (c. 1900-70); and expressive humanitarianism (since c. 1970). It moves the focus of the history of humanitarianism from the imperatives of crisis management in the outside world to pragmatic mechanisms of fundraising, relief efforts on the ground, and accounting, thus correlating their history with that of voluntary action and broader societal trends. The cases moreover provide new insights into the history of three humanitarian causes. The study of Irish famine relief in the 1840s redetermines the origins of the major British relief campaign. The study on Soviet famine relief in the 1920s provides a broader perspective than previous organisation-based studies and identifies similarities among competing ethnic, religious, political, and national relief cultures. Our analysis of the famine in Ethiopia of the 1980s is one of the few historical examinations of transnational food aid during that disaster that draws on newly-available archival sources"--


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"The book takes a fresh look at humanitarian action through the concept of moral economy. It suggests a revised periodisation of humanitarianism by analogy to politico-economic regimes, rather than geopolitical sequencing: moving from ad hoc humanitarianism (c. 1800-1900); to organised humanitarianism (c. 1900-70); and expressive humanitarianism (since c. 1970). It moves t "The book takes a fresh look at humanitarian action through the concept of moral economy. It suggests a revised periodisation of humanitarianism by analogy to politico-economic regimes, rather than geopolitical sequencing: moving from ad hoc humanitarianism (c. 1800-1900); to organised humanitarianism (c. 1900-70); and expressive humanitarianism (since c. 1970). It moves the focus of the history of humanitarianism from the imperatives of crisis management in the outside world to pragmatic mechanisms of fundraising, relief efforts on the ground, and accounting, thus correlating their history with that of voluntary action and broader societal trends. The cases moreover provide new insights into the history of three humanitarian causes. The study of Irish famine relief in the 1840s redetermines the origins of the major British relief campaign. The study on Soviet famine relief in the 1920s provides a broader perspective than previous organisation-based studies and identifies similarities among competing ethnic, religious, political, and national relief cultures. Our analysis of the famine in Ethiopia of the 1980s is one of the few historical examinations of transnational food aid during that disaster that draws on newly-available archival sources"--

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