History H425
History H509 Topics in History

 Fall 2012
CA 235

Dr. Schneider

 M 6:00 - 8:40 p.m.

The History of International Humanitarian Assistance

Class Announcements

Note: The take-home final exam question for undergraduates is available in the "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class, in the folder for Dec. 10. It must be turned in by class at 6 p.m. December 17. Contact the instructor if there are any questions.

Papers by graduate students must be turned in by that same time, 6 p.m. on December 17.

The syllabus was last revised December 11, 2012.


[available online at URL: http://www.iupui.edu/~histwhs/H425.dir/H425syl.html ]

The subject of humanitarian assistance is of great current interest, but its history has been relatively neglected. The goal of this course will be to examine the main elements of this history, as well as its usefulness in understanding the current situation and future developments.

This course covers the history of international humanitarian assistance during the 19th and 20th centuries. Its focus is on the movements and activities that developed in wealthier countries (Europe and the U.S.) during this period which attempted to help those in other lands in need of assistance (e.g., food, shelter, medical care). These needs arose from a variety of causes, both natural and man-made, such as famine, flood, epidemics, earthquakes and volcanoes as well as wars and government oppression. The responses took many forms, governmental and non-governmental, in a world that underwent very dramatic changes during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


Reading Requirements

Required books:

Merle Curti, American Philanthropy Abroad (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1988) 656pp ISBN: 088738711X. Despite being originally published in 1964, this book remains the best survey of the history of humanitarian assistance in the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. It is available new for $55, but there are a limited number of used copies on the web for $15 or less. Some of it has been digitized and is available online at Google books.

Additional articles and excerpts from other books will be available on the web, and in the "Resources" section of Oncourse. To download the readings from Oncourse, log in and click the site for this course you are enrolled in. Click on the "Resources" section in the left-hand column and you will find a list of readings you can download, listed according to class meeting.

Additional readings are available on the web from links as indicated below. If you have any difficulties obtaining readings, contact the instructor.


Anyone who has not had the Western Civ or World History survey recently, or who does not have an old text available should obtain one, such as the following. Inexpensive used copies can be obtained online or at used bookstores.

J. Michael Allen and James B. Allen, Harper Collins College Outline World History From 1500 (New York: Harper Collins, 1993) 480pp; $17.95 ISBN10: 0064671380

Other Recommended books:

Caroline Moorehead, Dunant's Dream: War, Switzerland and the History of the Red Cross (Carroll & Graf Pub,1998) Used copies are readily available online. It will be useful not only for understanding the history of the best known international humanitarian NGO but also in providing a broader perspective than Curti on worldwide disasters and relief in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Selected supplementary readings (for graduate students) are listed for appropriate classes.

De Waal, Alex, Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa(Indiana University Press,1998, $21) This is one of the best critiques of humanitarian assistance with a decent historical perspective on the last half of the twentieth century. Selected chapters (available on Oncourse) will be assigned.

Gilbert Rist, The History of Development: From Western Origins to Global Faith (Zed Books, 2002, $34) This is an excellent book on the history of a related topic: development assistance. One chapter (available on Oncourse) will be assigned.

Lawrence J. Friedman and Mark D. McGarvie, eds., Charity, Philanthropy, and Civility in American History (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004), $22.99 ISBN: 0521603536 Only a few chapters are directly relevant to the international setting, but this is a standard work on the history of American philanthropy.

Gary J. Bass, Freedom's Battle: The Origins of Humanitarian Intervention (NY: Random House, 2008), $35 ISBN: 978-0-307-26648-4(0-307-26648-6) A recent book whose title, unfortunately is not matched by the book's content which focuses narrowly on military interventions in the 19th century

Peter Walker and Daniel G. Maxwell, Shaping the Humanitarian World (Routledge, 2008), $32 (paper), ISBN: 978-0-415-77371-3 A good, brief, recent (albeit expensive) introduction to contemporary humanitarian assistance

Jay Robert Nash, Darkest Hours: A Narrative Encyclopedia of Worldwide Disasters from Ancient Times to the Present (Pocketr Books, 1978) A chronology of modern disasters

Other resources online

Emergency Events Database: EMDAT contains essential core data on the occurrence and effects of over 12,800 mass disasters in the world from 1900 to present. The database is compiled from various sources, including UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, insurance companies, research institutes and press agencies.

PubMed: Useful for articles on the history of epidemics and health relief, as well as famine and other health related disasters. This site provides access to Index Medicus, the bibliography of journal articles, including many on the History of Medicine, maintained by the National Library of Medicine. These are articles published since 1964, but they are not all-inclusive. For the Index Catalog of medical publications before 1964 click here to try an on-line version. It requires some practice, so contact the instructor for help, if necessary.

Historical Abstracts/American History and Life The most complete databases of articles on history in general, requires your IUPUI userid and password.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2001) The full text of the New York Times, searchable by key words, dates, etc. This provides first-hand coverage of many efforts at humanitarian assistance. [Note: requires login with student ID and Password]

The London Times, 1785-1985 Full text and searchable online database of the London Times. This provides first-hand coverage of many efforts at humanitarian assistance. [Note: requires login with student ID and Password]

Readers Guide Retrospective On-line version of the Readers Guide to Periodical Literature: an index of articles appearing in 371 popular American magazines and other periodicals [available through University Library electronic databases, be sure to select "Readers Guide Retro."]

Global Conflict Trends

Global and regional warfare and governance trends graphs, recently updated through 2007

EBSCOhost Databases (available through University Library Electronic Databases, if link does not work)

Philanthropic Studies Index Philanthropic Studies Index (PSI) is a tool to locate information on voluntarism, nonprofit organizations, fundraising, and charitable giving. The bulk of citations currently indexed are from academic journals, dated 1940 to the present.

Course Requirements


Midterm exam (30%)

Short paper, 3-5 pp. (15%) [Click here for details]

Analytical paper, 8-10pp. (25%) [Click here for details]

Take-home final essay (15%)

Class Grade (15%), includes reading analysis and class participation


Midterm exam (30%)

Short paper, 5 pp. (15%) [Click here for details]

Research paper, 20-25pp. (40%) [Click here for details]

Class Grade(15%), includes reading analysis and class participation


Principles of Undergraduate Learnin

The faculty at IUPUI have agreed that undergraduate courses should have certain common goals for student learning. A complete list of these Principles of Undergraduate Learning can be found at: http://www.iport.iupui.edu/selfstudy/tl/puls/. Three of them will be emphasized in this course and assessed based on students' work:

Understanding Society and Culture: the ability of students to recognize their own cultural traditions and to understand and appreciate the diversity of the human experience

Critical Thinking: the ability of students to discern bias, challenge assumptions, identify consequences, arrive at reasoned conclusions, generate and explore new questions, solve challenging and complex problems, and make informed decisions

Integration and Application of Knowledge: he ability of students to use information and concepts from studies in multiple disciplines in their intellectual, professional, and community lives


Policies regarding the conduct of class

There are a number of campus policies regarding courses that all students whould be aware of. A few are highlted below, but for a more comprehensive list, see thelink to the Registrar's page: http://registrar.iupui.edu/course_policies.html.

Plagiarism: Be sure you understand the school's policy on plagiarism (cheating).  Click here to see the Student Code of Conduct. Those guilty of plagiarism will be dealt with in accordance with the regulations spelled out in the code.

Administrative Withdrawal: A basic requirement of this course is that you will participate in all class meetings and conscientiously complete all required course activities and/or assignments. Keep in touch with me if you are unable to attend, participate, or complete an assignment on time. If you miss more than half of the required activities within the first 25% of the course without contacting me, you may be administratively withdrawn from this course. Example: Our course meets once per week; thus if you miss more than two classes in the first four weeks, you may be withdrawn. Administrative withdrawal may have academic, financial, and financial aid implications. Administrative withdrawal will take place after the full refund period, and if you are administratively withdrawn from the course you will not be eligible for a tuition refund. If you have questions about the administrative withdrawal policy at any point during the semester, please contact me.

Adaptive Educational Services (AES): This office works to make campus life and learning accessible for students with disabilities. AES assists students in achieving their educational goals through such services as note taking, interpreting, and test proctoring. Visit the AES webpage at: http://www.iupui.edu/~divrsity/aes/ or call them at 317.274.3241.

To contact the instructor outside of class:

OFFICE HOURS: CA-406, M W 3 - 4:00 p.m. or by appointment
Phone: 274-4740; e-Mail: whschnei@iupui.edu [We will NOT use Oncourse email]

Topics and Reading Assignments
[**Note: Dates and assignments are subject to change. You will be notified in class of any changes.]



Aug 20

Introduction; Definitions, current questions


In addition to going over requirements for the course, this class will plunge us into the large amount of material available about humanitarianism. It can be overwhelming and confusing, but the purpose is to engage everyone with the subject and sort out  some of the main contemporary issues. In the process we will seek some common understanding of terms, an appreciation of the importance of historical understanding (or lack thereof), and begin to develop an overview of the history (periods, main developments, and actors).

For a sense of humanitarian assistance today, right in our own backyard, see the article that recently appeared in the Indianapolis Star (August 6, 2012, available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class), "Indianapolis groups boosting global aid." [Note: representatives of a few of these organizations have been invited to speak to our class.]

For an overview of the History of International Humanitarian Assistance, read the following in advance of the first class, if possible. Otherwise read after class:

William Schneider, "A chronology of developments in 19th and 20th centuries"
William Schneider, "The History of international Humanitarian Assistance" includes extensive Bibliography (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Curti, "Preface," vii-xi; and "Introduction to Transaction edition,"

Recommended: read one or two of the following short articles as examples of the contemporary discussion, again, prior to the first class if possible; otherwise read after class:

Will R. Dombrowski, “Again and Again: Is a Disaster What We Call a Disaster?” in E.L. Quarantelli, ed., What Is Disaster? (London: Routledge, 1998),  pp. 19-30 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Hugo Slim, “A Call to Alms: Humanitarian Action and the Art of War” (February 2004) Click here

Gregg Easterbrook, “The End of War?” New Republic, (5/30/2005), 232:18-21 (available through University Library online journals) (Also available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)


Aug 27

 The Roots and Philosophical Origins of Modern humanitarianism

Background video: "Amazing Grace" (2006) If you have not already seen this film, try this link. Excerpts from the video will show a recent interpretation of the abolitionist movement in England.

This class will examine the underlying changes during the Enlightenment in the 18th century that led to a different perspective on the world including a new humanitarian view. Two case studies from the late 18th and early 19th century will be examined to illustrate these changes: the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 and the slave trade abolition movement that began in England at the end of the 18th century.

The following will set the scene for the beginning of modern humanitarianism:

Maurice Parmelee, “The Rise of Modern Humanitarianism,” The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 21, No. 3. (Nov., 1915), pp. 345-359 (available through University Library online journals) (Also available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class) An older, almost quaint but still relevant view.

Thomas L. Haskell, “Capitalism and the Origins of Humanitarian Sensibility,” American Historical Review, 90 (1985), Part I, 339-61; Part II, 547-66 (available through University Library online journals) (Also available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Note: This is heavy going but worth the investment in time. Undergraduates read the first article at least, and use the article by Parmelee as a help.

The following illustrate two cases of humanitarianism at the end of the 18th century:

The Lisbon Earthquake of 1755

C. R. Boxer, "Some Contemporary Reactions to the Lisbon Earthquake of 1755," Revista da faculdade de Letras de Lisboa, 22 (1956), 5-21 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Click here for a translation of the passage by Voltaire at end of article; click here for full text of Voltaire, "Poem on the Lisbon Disaster;" and here for the website of an International Conference on the 250th anniversary of the Lisbon earthquake (2005).

For some basic facts abut the abolition of the slave trade, see

Andy McSmith, "Was Wilberforce really responsible for the abolition of the slave?" The Independent (London),  Mar 23, 2007  (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Timeline to the Abolition of the Slave Trade

Sep 3

Labor Day (No class)



Sep 10

Background: International humanitarianism without International institutions, 1815-1856: Irish famine relief and health auxiliaries in the Crimean War



NOTE: There will be a guest speaker for the first hour of class, Dr. Ellen Einterz, a physician from Indianapolis, who has worked for over thirty years in Africa, and currently serves as medical director of a district hospital in northern Cameroon, where she has been since 1990. You may invite guests to attend who may be interested in her work.

This class will examine two events in the first half of the 19th century that elicited humanitarian assitance: the Irish famine and the Crimean War. Both occurred before the establishment of formal international institutions.

Curti, 41-61

Harvey Strum, “South Carolina and Irish Famine Relief, 1846-47,”  South Carolina Historical Magazine 2002 103(2): 130-152 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

For background, see the following BBC website: The Irish Famine by Jim Donnelly, or read the following: T E Jordan, "'An awful visitation of Providence': The Irish Famine of 1845-49," Journal of the Royal Society of Health, 117 (1997), 216-27 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

John Shelton Curtiss, ‘Russian Sisters of Mercy in the Crimea, 1854-1855’, Slavic Review, vol. 25, no. 1 (Mar., 1966), pgs. 84-100 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

See the following website for background on:

"Florence Nightingale: obituary in London Times, (click here)

Crimean War (see also timeline and map of Crimean War)





Sep 17

The Rise of the Red Cross and International Assistance, 1860-1914

NOTE: There will be a guest speaker for the first hour of class,Dr. James A. Lemons., Hugh McK. Landon Professor of Pediatrics at James W. Riley Hospital for Children. He has worked internationally in Kenya to enhance the care for women and newborn infants.You may invite guests to attend who may be interested in his work.

The Red Cross is the best known organization in the modern era providing humanitarian assistance around the world. It has usually enjoyed an image of benificence, duly promoted by its own publications. In the last 30 years, however, it has come under closer scrutiny and criticism, beginning with its relations with the Nazis during the Second World War and its role in the Nigerian Civil War. Historians have also reexamined its origins, and this class will look at two views of the beginnings of the Red Cross.

Background video: "Henry Dunant: Du Rouge sur la Croix" (2005) Exceprts from the video will show the romanticized "official" version of Red Cross history.

On the first 50 years of the Red Cross, see the following at the websiteof the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC):

“From the battle of Solferino to the eve of the First World War”

Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field. Geneva, 22 August 1864

Signature of the Geneva Convention of 22 August 1864 - painting by Armand Dumaresq

John F. Hutchinson, “Rethinking the origins of the Red Cross,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 1989 Winter;63(4):557-78 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class) A view that challenges the "official" Red Cross history

American philanthropy abroad, 1860-1914

On international assistance from 1860-1914, read Curti for background and at least one of the two cases of American assistance below. Be prepared to compare our current understanding (based on historical scholarship) and reporting at the time in the newspaper press (London Times and New York Times). This will be the subject of a short paper later in the semester.

Curti, 99-133; 199-208

Case 1: Russian famine of 1891-92

George S. Queen, "American Relief in the Russian Famine of 1891-1892," Russian Review, 14 (No. 2, Apr., 1955), 140-150 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Example of London Times report, "The Russian Famine," November 10, 1891 (available through University Library online journals)

Case 2: Spanish-American War

John Evangelist Walsh, “Forgotten Angel: The Story of Janet Jennings and the Seneca,” Wisconsin Magazine of History, Summer 1989, pp 267-293 (click here)

Example of New York Times report, "Red Cross Work In Cuba," July 23, 1898 (available through University Library online journals)


Moorehead, Dunant's Dream, 51-118



Sep 24

The "White Man's Burden": Famine, disease and European colonial rule, 19th-20th c


This class examines some broader influences on humanitarian assistance by the end of the 19th century: colonial rule and the beginnings of international organizations.

F. S. L. Lyons, "Part IV: The Humanitarian Impulse," Internationalism in Europe, 1815-1914 (Sythoff-Leyden: A. W. Sythoff, 1963), pp 263-307 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Gilbert Rist, The History of Development (Zed Books, 2002), Chapter 3, "The Making of the World System," 47-68 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Two cases of responses in the colonial setting: famine and sleeping sickness

Curti, 133-37

Passmore, R. “Famine in India: an Historical Survey.”  Lancet, Vol.2, issue 7 (18 August 1951) : 303-7 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Alice L. Conklin, "Colonialism and Human Rights: A Contrradiction in Terms? The case of France and West Africa, 1895-1914," American Historical Review 1998, Vol. 103 Issue 2, p419-42 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)


Animated Atlas of African History
Asia in 1914

Moorehead, Dunant's Dream, 149-74 (graduate students also 119-48)



Oct 1

Humanitarian Assistance during the First World War; Review for midterm

The scale of disaster relief during the First World War was unprecedented, but unfortunately foreshadowed what was to come later in the 20th century. Class readings show the strains and change experienced by the Red Cross and examples of humanitarian assistance by the U.S., Britain and France.

Curti, 224-58

Nash, George H., “"An American Epic": Herbert Hoover and Belgian Relief in World War I,” Prologue 1989 21(1): 75-86 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Donner, Henriette, “Under the Cross - Why V.A.D.S Performed the Filthiest Task in the Dirtiest War: Red Cross Women Volunteers, 1914-1918,” Journal of Social History 1997 30(3): 687-704 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Price, Alan, “Edith Wharton at War with the American Red Cross: The End of Noblesse Oblige,” Women's Studies, 1991 20(2): 121-131 (available through University Library online journals)


Moorehead, Dunant's Dream, 207-30

Click here for pictures of humanitarian assistance during WWI



Oct 8

Midterm exam

Following the exam, there will be an overview of the period covered by the remaining classes, including discussion of the short paper assignment. (no additional reading).


Oct 15
Fall Break



Oct 22

Postwar Relief and Reorganization, the 1920s


The end of the First World War brought some changes in the Red cross and other organizations, but otherwise continuing need for humanitarian relief, with Americans increasingly prominent, as seen in these examples from the 1920s.

The International Red Cross: New Geneva Conventions

Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare. Geneva, 17 June 1925 (Click here)

Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 27 July 1929 (Click here)

Linda Mahood, "Feminists, politics and children’s charity: the formation of the
Save the Children Fund," Voluntary Action (2002), 5, 18pp. (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Edmondson CM. “The politics of hunger: the Soviet response to famine,” 51: Soviet Studies.1977; 29(4): 506-18. (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Marcus Cueto, “Sanitation from Above: Yellow Fever and Foreign Intervention in Peru, 1919-1922,” Hispanic-American Historical Review, 72 (Feb. 1992), 1-22 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)





Oct 29

 Earthquake in Japan (1923);  The Interwar Period, 1930s

Paper due on the 1923 Japanese earthquake. [Click here for details.]

For background, read Curti, 339-46

Jelle Zeilinga de Boer and Donald Theodore Sanders, Earthquakes in Human History (Princeton University Press, 2005), "Japan's Great Kanto Earthquake: 'Hell Let Loose on Earth,'" pp. 170-93; 265-66 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Earthquake in Japan, 1923 New York Times articles. (browse through articles between September 2 – 13, 1923) (available through University Library online journals)

See also The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 collection of photographs at Brown University. You may find parts of the essay by Mai Denawa, "Behind the Accounts of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923" useful in writing your paper. Click on "Scholarship" in the left-hand column.

Kanto newsreel clip (in Japanese, but the pictures are what counts)
Tokyo Mega quake 1923 (also in Japanese, with before and after film)

The second part of this class will examine one humanitarian crisis from the increasing warfare in the 1930s in Ethiopia.

Red Ross, "Black Americans and the Italo-Ethiopian Relief, 1935-1936," Ethiopia Observer, 15 (1972), 122-31 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

For background, see

Timeline for Ethiopian invasion by Mussolini

See clip on Mussolini's invasion from Frank Capra's series "Why We Fight: Prelude to War" (at end, 45min.49 sec.)

"Ethiopian Red Cross Unit Bombed" (Feb. 12, 1936) [Background: "Swedish Red Cross Bombed"]

Anna Jordan, "League of Nations - Italy and Abyssinia," British Cartoon Archive, September 10, 2009 http://www.cartoons.ac.uk/group/league-nations-italy-and-abyssinia


Moorehead, Dunant's Dream, 292-328



Nov 5

World War II and the aftermath

Background video: "Varian's War"(2001) Note excerpts from the video will provide background on an American relief effort in Vichy France before the U.S. entered the Second World War.

Another world war brought new challenges to relief efforts, and the creation of new organizations that remade humanitarian assistance in the postwar period. Three examples are examined: U.S. assistance before entry into the war, the Red Cross relation with the Nazis, and two new organiozations that emerged from the war.

Curti, 410-76 (read these two chapters for background)

1) American assistance while still neutral:

a) The Sino-Japanese War:

For background, read Curti, 348-59

T. Christopher Jespersen, "'Spreading the American Dream' of China: United China Relief, the Luce Family, and the Creation of American Conceptions of China before Pearl Harbor," Journal of American-East Asian Relations, 1 (1992), 269-94 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

b) Vichy France

Donald Carroll, "Escape from Vichy," American Heritage, 34 (1983), 82-93 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class) Compare this to the article on China and Luce.

2) The Red Cross and the Nazis

Curti, 361-90 for background

Jean-Claude Favez, The Red Cross and the Holocaust (1999), "Introduction,", 1-10 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

François Bugnion, "Dialogue with the past: the ICRC and the Nazi death camps" (Click here for the Red Cross response.)

Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field. Geneva, 12 August 1949 (Click here)

3) New postwar organizations: Oxfam and CARE

Curti, 477-526 (skim most, but pay attention to 491-508)

Maggie Black, A Cause for Our Times: Oxfam (1992), Ch 2 "Winning the Peace: The Moral Aftermath of War,", pp, 22-40 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Wallace J. Campbell, The History of CARE: A personal Account (Praeger, 1990), Chapter 2 “In the Beginning, 1945-46,” 5-18 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)


Moorehead, Dunant's Dream, 530-57


Nov 12
 Post-1945: Development and optimism

The postwar era brought relief, fear of the Cold War, and some reason for optimism. This class sets the scene for the new emphasis on economic development after 1945 and examines two of the highest profile success stories: the eradication of smallpox and the "green revolution."

Gilbert Rist, The History of Development (Zed Books, 2002), Chapter 4, "The Invention of Development," 69-79 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

"Inaugural Address of Harry S. Truman," January 20, 1949

Grad students browse through the following and pick at least one article to read:

"Formulating a Point Four Program," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 270, Jul., 1950 (available through University Library online journals)

D.A. Henderson, "The eradication of smallpox," Scientific American Oct. 1976; 235(4):25-33 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Nick Cullather, "Miracles of Modernization: The Green Revolution and the Apotheosis of Technology," Diplomatic History, 28:2 (Apr 2004) Vol. 28, 227-254 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)



Nov 19

New organizations in the 1980s

The 1980s saw a new generation of international humanitarian NGOs but achieved only a mixed success in responding to such challenges as famine.

Rene Fox, “Medical humanitarianism and human rights: reflections on doctors without borders and doctors of the world,” Social Science and Medicine. 1995 Dec; 41(12):1607-16 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Alan Whaites, “Pursuing partnership: World Vision and the ideology of development--a case study,” Development-in-Practice. 9 (4) (1999), 410-23 (available through University Library online journals)

Kent, Randolph C. "Reflecting Upon a Decade of Disasters: The Evolving Response of the International Community." International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs, 59 (1983): 693 – 711 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Date Topic
Nov 26

New disasters in the 1980-90s and the beginning of disillusionment: famines, Bosnia, Somalia, Rwanda

Amartya Sen, "Famines," World Developmemt, 8 (1980), 613-621 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Mark Cutts, "The humanitarian operation in Bosnia, 1992-95: the dilemmas of negotiating humanitarian access," New Issues in Refugee Research, Working Paper No. 8 (Geneva: UNHCR, 1999) (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class or Click here.)

De Waal, Alex, Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa(Indiana University Press,1998), Chap 9 "Humanitarian Impunity: Somalia 1993 & Rwanda 1994," 179-203 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Humanitarian critique

De Waal, Alex, Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa(Indiana University Press,1998), Chap 4 "Retreat from Accountability: The Humanitarian International," 65-85 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

For a more recent critique, see Philip Gourevitch, "The Alms Dealer," a review in the New Yorker (October 11, 2010)) of Linda Polman's new book, The Crisis Caravan: What's Wrong with Humanitarian Aid?



Dec 3

 The new millenium and the new world of humanitarianism

The new humanitarian philanthropy:

Meredith Wadman, "State of the the Donation," Nature, Vol 447, no. 17 (May 2007), 248-50 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Kirstin R.W. Matthews and Vivian Ho, "The grand impact of the Gates Foundation," EMBO Reports, 9 (2008), 409-412 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Bill Gates on mosquitos, malaria and education (2009)

So you think you want to save the world: armed with historical perspective, you can use the following views on solving the problems serve as a reminder that there is still some debate about how to proceed.

William Easterly, "The Big Push Déjà Vu: A Review of Jeffrey Sachs, The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time, (Penguin Press: New York, 2005)," Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. 44, No. 1 (March 2006), 96-105 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Jeffrey D. Sachs, "How to help the poor: piecemeal progress or strategic plans? a review of William Easterly, White Man's Burden" Lancet, 367 (April 22, 2006), 1309-10 (Available in "Resources" section of Oncourse site for this class)

Dambisa Moyo, “Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa,” Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2009

Benjamin Bodnar, “So you think you want to save the world,” Yale J Biol Med  v.84(3); Sep 2011, 227-36

For examples of another view (dramatic and historical) of development Hans Rosling see:

The best stats you've ever seen (2006)

Hans Rosling's Jaw-dropping demo (2007)



Dec 10

Undergraduate research paper due [Click here for details.]

Discussion of undergraduate and graduate research papers



Dec 17

 6:00 p.m. Final take-home essay question due; graduate research papers due.