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Historical perspectives have increased in importance in the field of humanitarian studies. This panel, conducted in the form of a round-table discussion, will seek to critically examine several key concepts in the humanitarian field in historically and contextually-specific ways. Possibilities for discussion include resilience, rehabilitation, reconstruction, exhibition, memory, and mutual aid. The aim is to assess the usefulness of these and other key terms in understanding humanitarian practice across a range of periods and geographic contexts.
Questions for discussion include: To what extent are these key concepts rooted in the fundamental tension between self-reliance and dependency? How helpful are these concepts in understanding humanitarian crises in the deeper past? In the global South? To what extent do these key concepts engage with indigenous, as opposed to external, approaches to human need?
Part 2 of the session will be held by Peter Heintze from KUNO: The relevance of study and writing of Humanitarian History.
Humanitarian History: in the United Kingdom a strong academic section; in the Netherlands however almost non-existent. A debate to explore the relevance of humanitarian history: What can we learn from humanitarian history? And how can it influence current humanitarian action?