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Taking a concept from Geology, the session will confront the question of whether the past politics of humanitarian assistance provides any insight for the future. The scope of past humanitarian politics will not be limited temporally or culturally. Presentations on the development and course of humanitarian politics in Asia and the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere are encouraged together with the North Atlantic-focused approaches to humanitarian politics (e.g., Dumas, Nightingale, Hoover, White). The outcome of the session will be a geographically wider and conceptually broader understanding of the historical basis for the current politics of humanitarianism, and, possibly, insight into the future.