The Selfish Altruist: Relief Work in Famine and War

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Overview

* Compelling firsthand account of the dilemmas faced by relief workers

* Reflects the author's experience of the catastrophies in Kosovo, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan

Famine and war evoke strong emotional reactions of pity and concern in the onlooker. For most of us there is a limited amount that we are prepared or able to do, but relief workers have to convert such natural emotional responses into practical action while addressing the stark dilemmas that go hand-in-hand with humanitarian intervention.

So why do they get involved? Are aid workers motivated purely by altruistic concern, or is it a more complex mixture involving the power they experience and the attention they receive?

In this new paperback edition of "The Selfish Altruist", Tony Vaux brings over 20 years' experience as one of Oxfam's leading emergency program coordinators to a far-reaching and unflinching account of the conflicts between subjective impulses and objective judgment. Describing and analyzing some of the most traumatic crisis situations of the last two decades, he helps us to understand what it takes to be an aid worker and how important humanitarian action is today.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781853837760
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 7/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Tony Vaux was for over 20 years one of Oxfam's leading emergency managers. He is the founding director of Humanitarian Initiatives, which promotes exchange on conflict-related issues among practitioners. He has been a consultant to DFID, UNDP, and Swiss Development Cooperation; and in 2005 led a UK Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) team evaluating post-Tsunami assistance. Previously he was responsible for Oxfam GB's programmes in West India (1976-1980) and East India and Bhutan (1982-1984), coordinated its emergency response department (1984-1994), and managed its work in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union (1994-1998).

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgements
List of Acronyms and Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Kosovo: The Loss of Impartiality 17
2 Ethiopia: A Golden Age of Humanitarianism? 43
3 Sudan: Impartiality and Self-respect 69
4 Mozambique: Vulnerability and Power 93
5 Afghanistan: Pride and Principle 115
6 Somalia: Emotion and Order 137
7 Azerbaijan and Bosnia: Responsibility and Rights 159
8 The Rwanda Genocide: Man's Inhumanity 183
9 The Selfish Altruist 201
Notes on the Sources 213
Index 224
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