International relations

Humanitarianism in Theory and Practice

Module code: 018IRID
Level 6
30 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Not yet finalised

This module is historically grounded, critically minded and practically oriented. It offers you the opportunity to:

  • understand and critically assess the politics and history of humanitarianism as a concept and practice
  • put into practice their critical awareness when addressing case studies of humanitarian emergencies and issues
  • engage with humanitarians working in the field in a variety of ways.

The module decentres the ‘classic’ story of humanitarianism as a wholly altruistic impetus. Rather, humanitarianism is situated within the history of industrialisation, colonialism and militarism as well as the politics of gender, class and race. We will explore how humanitarian organisations operate domestically as well as internationally, and question what this means for our understanding of humanitarianism.