Humanities 2014, 3(2), 232-243; doi:10.3390/h3020232
Article

The (de)Militarization of Humanitarian Aid: A Historical Perspective

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Received: 11 March 2014; in revised form: 2 June 2014 / Accepted: 6 June 2014 / Published: 16 June 2014
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Humanitarian workers often complain that international aid to victims of armed conflicts is more and more militarized because relief organizations are embedded into peacekeeping operations, used as a “force multiplier”, or manipulated as an instrument of diplomacy by proxy. Historically, however, charity has always been a military issue in times of war. We can distinguish four types of militarization of relief organizations in this regard. First is the use of charities to make “war by proxy”, as in Afghanistan or Nicaragua in the 1980s. The second pattern is “embedment”, like the Red Cross during the two world wars. The third is “self-defense”, as with the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem (now Malta) in the 12th Century. The fourth, finally, is the model of “International Brigades” alongside the Spanish Republicans in 1936 or various liberation movements in the 1970s. In comparison, humanitarian aid today appears to be much less militarized. However, this perception also depends on the various definitions of the word “humanitarian”.
Keywords: humanitarian aid; militarization; responsibility to protect
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MDPI and ACS Style

de Montclos, M.-A.P. The (de)Militarization of Humanitarian Aid: A Historical Perspective. Humanities 2014, 3, 232-243.

AMA Style

de Montclos M-AP. The (de)Militarization of Humanitarian Aid: A Historical Perspective. Humanities. 2014; 3(2):232-243.

Chicago/Turabian Style

de Montclos, Marc-Antoine P. 2014. "The (de)Militarization of Humanitarian Aid: A Historical Perspective." Humanities 3, no. 2: 232-243.

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