Bringing Political Economy back to Centre-Stage


To see when the panel starts and where to watch it scroll down or click here.
Bringing Political Economy back to Centre-Stage: The challenges of assuring principled humanitarian action in an era of transactional politics

This panel will present a sweeping analysis of the role of humanitarian action in the political economy of armed conflicts, from the impact of aid on local politics and economies when arriving at seaports and railway stations in the wake of the First World War, to the impact of today’s “digital humanitarianism” and public-private partnerships in conflict settings. It will mobilize the past to look at present experiences and reflect on the future of humanitarian action, tackling not only contexts where international aid organizations were present, but also those where they were not, and the difference this made to local political economies.

Based on historical and field research from the Near and Middle East, Somalia, Yemen, Central America and elsewhere, the panel will examine key features of war economies and illuminate the ethical, legal and security reasons for which renewed attention to the role of humanitarian action in war economies is critical. It will highlight the damage humanitarian action can do to the local market economy; how to deal with profiteers in the political marketplace who have a vested interest in perpetuating armed conflict for their own benefit; how to design protection and assistance programs in highly politicized environments; and the challenges to upholding humanitarian principles in the digital age.

Date(s) & Time(s)

November 4th, 2021
11:00 (GMT +1)
Amphithéâtre Leroy-Beaulieu
Session has ended.

Register for the conference to view the livestream(s) when this panel is live.


Gilles Carbonnier, Fiona Terry, Davide Rodogno, Achim Wennmann