Humanitarianism and Suffering: The Mobilization of Empathy
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Humanitarianism and Suffering: The Mobilization of Empathy

by Richard Ashby Wilson, Richard Wilson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521883857

ISBN-13: 9780521883856

Pub. Date: 12/31/2008

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Humanitarian sentiments have motivated a variety of manifestations of pity, from nineteenth-century movements to end slavery to the creation of modern international humanitarian law. While humanitarianism is clearly political, Humanitarianism and Suffering addresses the ways in which it is also an ethos embedded in civil society, one that drives secular and

Overview

Humanitarian sentiments have motivated a variety of manifestations of pity, from nineteenth-century movements to end slavery to the creation of modern international humanitarian law. While humanitarianism is clearly political, Humanitarianism and Suffering addresses the ways in which it is also an ethos embedded in civil society, one that drives secular and religious social and cultural movements, not just legal and political institutions. As an ethos, humanitarianism has a strong narrative and representational dimension that can generate humanitarian constituencies for particular causes. The emotional nature of compassion is closely linked to visual and literary images of suffering and innocence. Essays in the volume analyze the character, form, and voice of private or public narratives themselves and explain how and why some narratives of suffering energize political movements of solidarity, whereas others do not. Humanitarianism and Suffering explores when, how, and why humanitarian movements become widespread popular movements. It shows how popular sentiments move political and social elites to action and, conversely, how national elites appropriate humanitarian ideals for more instrumental ends.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521883856
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
12/31/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Part I. Histories and Contexts: 1. Mourning, pity, and the work of narrative in the making of 'humanity' Thomas W. Laqueur; 2. Contemporary humanitarianism: the global and the local contemporary David P. Forsythe; 3. Humanitarian reading Joseph R. Slaughter; 4. Global media and the myths of humanitarian relief: the case of the 2004 tsunami Rony Brauman; 5. Hard struggles of doubt: abolitionists and the problem of slave redemption Margaret M. R. Kellow; 6. 'Starving Armenians': the politics and ideology of humanitarian aid in the first decades of the twentieth century Flora A. Keshgegian; 7. International bystanders to the Holocaust and humanitarian intervention Michael R. Marrus; Part II. Narratives and Redress: 8. Victims, relatives and citizens in Argentina: whose voice is legitimate enough? Elizabeth Jelin; 9. Children, suffering and the humanitarian appeal Laura Suski; 10. The physicality of legal consciousness: suffering and the production of credibility in refugee resettlement Kristin Bergtora Sandvik; 11. 'Can you describe this?': human rights reports and what they tell us about the human rights movement Ron Dudai; 12. Financial reparations, blood money, and human rights witness testimony: Morocco and Algeria Susan Slymovics; 13. Remnants and remains: narratives of suffering in post-genocide Rwanda's Gacaca courts Lars Waldorf.

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