Tag Archives: humanitarianism

Unhappy performatives of statehood: What we can learn from Austin about the disfunctionality of Eritrean politics

Sometimes things come back in circles in unexpected ways: I started my university career as a Masters student at the Freie Universität Berlin in West-Berlin in 1980s. The wall was still up and West-Berlin was a laboratory for alternative life-styles. … Continue reading

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Forgotten Humanitarians – reflections on the death of Rupert Neudeck, founder of the German humanitarian organisation Cap Anamur

Many called him naïve, and he certainly showed little interest in the structural conditions or the violence that caused people to flee their countries of origin, nor in wider geopolitical dynamics that often determine the concrete parameters of humanitarian action. … Continue reading

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‘Famine’ in Ethiopia – and ‘Foreigners’ there to help?

A day before I will board a flight to Addis Ababa, partly to attend the bi-annual World Conference on Humanitarian Studies organised for the 4th time by the International Humanitarian Studies Association, Ethiopia is in the news again for not-yet … Continue reading

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Sniffer dogs and fences to defend British holiday rights: visible symbols for the bankruptcy of British and EU refugee politics

Predictable and still shocking for anybody with a belief in humanitarian values: the so-called ‘Calais migrant crisis’ (note: in media on the continent the term refugee crisis dominates, but maybe even outlets like the BBC fear funding cuts and feel … Continue reading

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From Band Aid to South Sudan: Celebrity-humanitarians, ‘Common–sense humanitarianism’ and the lasting legacies of a BBC broadcast

It is the 23rd of October 1984. BBC television shows the first of a series of broadcasts from Korem, a hamlet in Ethiopia presented as the epicentre of the famine that grips the country. For those of a certain generation, … Continue reading

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Blackmailed – How Solidarity Drowned in a Sea of Ice Buckets

In the last few weeks there was no escape from pictures showing friends and strangers from all wakes of life dumping buckets of ice-cold water on their heads. What on the surface is being marketed as a fun activity for … Continue reading

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