Medical Humanitarianism

Medical Humanitarianism

Ethnographies of Practice

Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights

Edited by Sharon Abramowitz and Catherine Panter-Brick

Foreword by Peter Piot

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.

288 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 x 0.00 mm, 3 illus.

  • ISBN: 9780812247329
  • Published: October 2015



Medical humanitarianism—medical and other health-related initiatives undertaken in conditions born of conflict, neglect, or disaster —has a prominent and growing presence in international development, global health, and human security interventions. Medical Humanitarianism: Ethnographies of Practice features twelve essays that fold back the curtains on the individual experiences, institutional practices, and cultural forces that shape humanitarian practice.

Contributors offer vivid and often dramatic insights into the experiences of local humanitarian workers in the Afghan-Pakistan border areas, national doctors coping with influxes of foreign humanitarian volunteers in Haiti, military doctors working for the British Army in Iraq and Afghanistan, and human rights-oriented volunteers within the Israeli medical bureaucracy. They analyze our contested understanding of lethal violence in Darfur, food crises responses in Niger, humanitarian knowledge in Ugandan IDP camps, and humanitarian departures in Liberia. They depict the local dynamics of healthcare delivery work to alleviate human suffering in Somali areas of Ethiopia, the emergency metaphors of global health campaigns from Ghana to war-torn Sudan, the fraught negotiations of humanitarians with strong state institutions in Indonesia, and the ambiguous character of research ethics espoused by missions in Sierra Leone. In providing well-grounded case studies, Medical Humanitarianism will engage both scholars and practitioners working at the interface of humanitarian medicine, global health interventions, and the social sciences. They challenge the reader to reach a more critical and compassionate understanding of humanitarian assistance.

Contributors: Sharon Abramowitz, Tim Allen, Ilil Benjamin, Lauren Carruth, Mary Jo DelVecchio-Good, Alex de Waal, Byron J. Good, Stuart Gordon, Jesse Hession Grayman, Jean-Hervé Jézéquel, Peter Locke, Amy Moran-Thomas, Patricia Omidian, Catherine Panter-Brick, Peter Piot, Peter Redfield, Laura Wagner.