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Geographies of humanitarian violence

Lopez, Patricia J; Bhungalia, Lisa; Newhouse, Leonie S


Patricia J Lopez

Lisa Bhungalia


Violence and humanitarianism are conventionally understood to be in opposition to one another. And yet, humanitarianism is also deeply entangled with violence—not only in tending to the after effects of human or natural catastrophe, but, at times, also (re)producing and perpetuating ongoing conditions of violence. Taking up Weizman's notion critiquing “lesser evil” solutions to human suffering, we extend the exploration of humanitarian interventions to the structural and symbolic violences enacted through the institutions, mechanisms, instruments, and “moral technologies” that are mobilized in the governance of people and spaces deemed in “need.” At the same time we attend to the thresholds within humanitarian forms of engagement where slippage into assaultive violence condenses—often through the spatial policing of circulation, the drive toward legibility, and/or opaque processes of conditional vetting. These moments and spaces shed light on the multiple, hierarchical visions of humanity that animate humanitarianism.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 27, 2015
Online Publication Date Nov 27, 2015
Publication Date 2015
Deposit Date Sep 18, 2019
Journal Environment and Planning A
Print ISSN 0308-518X
Electronic ISSN 1472-3409
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 47
Issue 11
Pages 2232 - 2239
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