Thursday, October 16, 2008

Humanitarianism in Question by Michael Barnett and Thomas G. Weiss (Eds)

Humanitarianism in Question: Power, Politics and Ethics is a superb collection of 11 academic essays that address numerous aspects of humanitarianism. Nearly all aspects of humanitarianism were covered (save in-depth anecdotal stories), from its history and definition, to trends in the data and funding, to issues of accountability and ethical concern, and finally as a scholarly vocation and potential lessons for practitioners. If the whole work is read in a short time period, some parts of some essays will seem repetitive, but for a novice like myself I found the repetition useful. Additionally, it was interesting to be exposed to social science writing that emphasizes constructs and contexts (more so than 'harder' science writing) as well as on the ground truths.

I found the overall work (and nearly each individual essay) to be logical structured, accessible and rigourous in analysis; pursued to the point of raising challenging questions or arriving at logical conclusions that other might find dissatisfying. Consequently, this is an informative work and a great reference to have; go read it if you are interested in learning more about the study of humanitarianism.


Post a Comment

<< Home