How and why have activists launched initiatives in support of people who were often far removed from them? The journal issue seeks to answer this question, casting a critical eye on the construction of humanitarian causes. The authors draw attention to the different rationales for humanitarian activism: from compassion and solidarity to self-interest. They also examine how activists viewed and represented the objects of their campaigns. The contributions thus investigate what aid efforts can tell us about the self-perception of those who engaged in them. The coverage ranges from the early nineteenth century to the 1970s. Although the historical contexts differ, a number of shared themes emerge. One is the way in which activists used dramatic appeals to attract attention for their cause. Another aspect is the use or transformation of existing associational structures in the face of events that were seen as emergencies. Finally, the articles highlight the political sub-texts of endeavours that the activists themselves tended to portray as ‘apolitical’.
Alan Kramer: Recent Historiography of the First World War (Part II)
Ideas, Practices and Histories of HumanitarianismEdited by Daniel Laqua and Charlotte Alston
Daniel Laqua: Inside the Humanitarian Cloud: Causes and Motivations to Help Friends and Strangers
Norbert Götz: Rationales of Humanitarianism: The Case of British Relief to Germany, 1805–1815
Charlotte Alston: “A Great Host of Sympathisers”: The Doukhobor Emigration and its International Supporters, 1895–1905
Stefan Dyroff: Minority Rights and Humanitarianism: The International Campaign for the Ukrainians in Poland, 1930–1931
Isabella Löhr: Solidarity and the Academic Community: The Support Networks for Refugee Scholars in the 1930s
Angéline Escafré-Dublet: Aid, Activism and the State in Post-War France: AMANA, a Charity Organisation for Colonial Migrants (1945–1962)
Jochen Kemner: Fourth World Activism in the First World: The Rise and Consolidation of European Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples
Jie-Hyun Lim: A Postcolonial Reading of Sonderweg: Marxist Historicism Revisted
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