IHSA

Depoliticizing humanitarian action: motives, practices, consequences
Organiser(s): Isabelle Desportes, Alice Corbet

Excerpt:
This panel explores the politics of humanitarianism through the less common entry point of ‘depoliticization’. Why do humanitarian actors aim to shape and/or present their interventions as ‘not political’? How do they do it? What are the consequences, including for conflict -and disaster- impacted populations?

The separation of humanitarian action from politics is one of the founding stances of humanitarianism. It maximizes humanitarian independence and neutrality, thus increases acceptance and access, including in conflict settings. Yet, humanitarian claims of non-involvement in politics have been dismissed by some as misleading, naive, or counter-productive. Some political scientists have argued that depoliticization is just another form of politics.

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