Inside the Humanitarian Cloud: Causes and Motivations to Help Friends and Strangers

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This essay examines humanitarianism as both a concept and a practice. The piece discusses the tropes and ideas that sustained the construction of humanitarian causes - from compassion and solidarity t moral outrage. It subsequently focuses on strategies and mechanisms that sustained humanitarian campaigns, in particular the use of 'information politics'. Finally, it sheds light on the ways in which activists viewed the objects of their campaigns. In this context, the tension between identification and self-interest emerges as a major theme. The essay seeks to capture the different features of humanitarianism and its protagonists through the metaphor of the 'humanitarian cloud'.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-185
JournalJournal of Modern European History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2014

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