Localising Research on Humanitarian Concepts

Panel details

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Number of paper presentations 3


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The humanitarian sector has witnessed a considerable expansion and diversification over the last decades. Although Western humanitarian stakeholders are still major players of humanitarian aid, newcomers from Global South states are challenging the Western foundations of humanitarian action. Alternative models of crisis response are emerging, and a growing range of humanitarian stakeholders even refuse to qualify their activities using the label of humanitarian action. The diversification of the sector also has an impact on humanitarian studies: new research perspectives are emerging to explain how humanitarianism is perceived and understood in non-Western cultures. In this context, this panel addresses the World Humanitarian Summit scholars commitment to « localize humanitarian research and education within the regions and communities affected by emergencies ». It especially focuses on how concepts central to humanitarian practice are understood and used in a variety of cultural contexts.

We welcome contributions presenting research on:
- non-Western conception of humanitarian action: such as Asian conception of disaster risk management reduction, African conception of the humanitarian-development nexus or narrative on humanitarianism in de facto States (such as Kurdistan or Somaliland)
- concepts unique to certain cultures and languages
- local and national uses of concepts used in humanitarian action such as “resilience”, “neutrality” or “protection”

We especially welcome contributions from Global South scholars and encourage participants to make their research design explicit in their submission.

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Clara Egger