Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism
Empire of Humanity explores humanitarianism's remarkable growth from its humble origins in the early nineteenth century to its current prominence in global life. In contrast to most contemporary accounts of humanitarianism that concentrate on the last two decades, Michael Barnett ties the past to the present, connecting the antislavery and missionary movements of the ninet...more
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published March 3rd 2011 by Cornell University Press
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Very interesting book tracing the "evolution" of Humanitarianism over the last ~150 years. The author focuses on humanitarian organizations over three historical contexts. The book is divided into sections on each context, which roughly coincide to Imperial, Cold War, and post-Cold War. Barnett is in the main a political scientist, and he states that he is not trying to present a cultural history of human rights or humanity. He is focused on these organizations and their missions, methods, and t...more
"Empire of Humanity" is a unique tracing of the history of humanitarianism and its differences and intersections with politics and human rights. This book can definitely get repetitive which is why it can be hard at times to maintain interest. However, he makes a lot of really important and interesting points about the pervasiveness of paternalism throughout the three Eras of humanitarianism. I would recommend this to anyone interested in humanitarianism/relief work or human rights advocacy, but...more