Round table: 50 Years of Médecins Sans Frontières

Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without borders) – created in 1971 in Paris by a group of doctors and journalists – is celebrating its 50th year of existence. For that occasion and during the IHSA Conference on Humanitarian Studies, the CRASH (Centre de Réflexion sur l’Action et les Savoirs Humanitaires) is organizing a roundtable dedicated to the history and mythology of MSF.

This roundtable serves two objectives:

In the one hand, we’ll be discussing MSF’s origins’ story (the Biafra genocide, the Bangladesh cyclone) and how it relates to History. On the other hand, we’ll dig into the analysis of the organization’s overall contemporary discourse on its supposed founding principles.

In addition to that, this roundtable will be the opportunity to collectively think about MSF’s transformations during the past 50 years: the evolution of intervention contexts, major geopolitical events, personal trajectories of some members of the organization – which all lead to the question: what shaped the organization and nourished its debates overtime?

This roundtable – moderated by Bertrand Taithe also aims to gather both researchers and members of MSF.

  • Rony Brauman, Director of studies at Crash and Former President of Médecins sans Frontières
  • Eleanor Davey, Honorary Fellow of Australian Catholic University
  • Isabelle Defourny, Operations Director at MSF-OCP
  • Peter Redfield, Professor and Chair, Erburu Chair in Ethics, Globalization and Development, University of Southern California


Date and Time

3 November 2021
19.30 – 21.00 CET

The session will take place at Sciences Po
27 Rue Saint-Guillaume, 75007 Paris, France
Room: Amphithéâtre Emile Boutmy