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(Un)doing humanitarian ethics through critique: exploring anthropological contributions to humanitarian practice in light of recent events in Gaza [AHN and LAWNET] 
Pedro Silva Rocha Lima (University of Manchester)
Ana Elisa Barbar (Insecurity Insight)
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Wednesday 24 July, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

This roundtable debates the tensions and effects of the humanitarian framing of crises underpinned by relations of oppression, using the situation in Gaza as a trigger for discussion. It also explores related questions of doing applied anthropology in such contexts and the importance of critique.

Long Abstract:

Western humanitarianism, a form of practice informed by specific principles and interventionist activities, has historically struggled between a stated anti-politics and moral right to access to populations to deliver relief in different conflict settings around the globe. At the same time, anthropological research has tried to understand and dialogue with these practices, questioning the why and the how, as well as the impact of humanitarianism in the contexts where it unfolds. Using the recent escalation in Gaza as a trigger for discussion, this roundtable debates the tensions and effects of the humanitarian framing of crises underpinned by relations of oppression. Firstly, along the lines of critique, what are the practical and ethical implications of framing such events as ‘humanitarian crises’ that require ‘pauses’ and ‘ceasefires’? In what ways does the humanitarian frame also affect the politics of the context? What kinds of alternatives does that frame preclude and which injustices might it reproduce? Secondly, turning to a more applied anthropology, how may anthropological critique help re-frame humanitarian ethics and practice? Another related question that speakers might choose to address is: to what extend and how should anthropologists critique humanitarian endeavours amidst an ongoing crisis? Speakers are invited to explore topics such as, but not limited to, questions of discourse and power, humanitarian confidentiality, the connections between humanitarianism and politics, and public anthropology.

Accepted contributions:

Session 1 Wednesday 24 July, 2024, -