Publisher: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 386 g
Dimensions: 216 x 138 x 18 mm
Thank goodness for MSF. Where else would we find such candour and self-criticism? Laid out here are unblinking accounts of the dilemmas facing the humanitarian agencies in a chaotic world, and clear-eyed appraisals of how MSF tries, and sometimes fails, to respond with its principles intact. Let's hope the other relief agencies are paying attention. -- Peter Gill, journalist and author of 'Famine and Foreigners: Ethiopia since Live Aid'
These stories and reflections illustrate the tragic humanitarian paradox: to act morally, one can't always be principled. Neutrality and impartiality disappear into the pantheon of defunct ideals, as MSF defends a robust opportunism in the best sense of the word: reality-based situational ethics. -- Dirk Salomons, director of the Program for Humanitarian Affairs at the School of International Public Affairs, Columbia University
This is a book about realism: the art of doing what's possible in impossible situations, and preserving reputation and skills to provide relief in the next crisis, in the next country. Through seven case studies and an insightful history of modern humanitarian action, this collection of essays represents a maturing of MSF's view of the world. Gone is the fundamentalist rant of 'our principles at any price' and in its place is a more nuanced pragmatic approach which keeps its eye firmly on the goal of alleviating suffering but understands the need to compromise and invent, choosing the best possible path to reach the goal. -- Dr. Peter Walker, Director, Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
'Humanitarian Negotiations Revealed' is a very good and extremely useful book. It brings important new information and candid discussions of ethical and operational decision-making to important parts of humanitarian studies and international relations. ... Clear, practical, and easy to read, this book is exceptional for its frank and public self-scrutiny. In this respect, it breaks new ground, demonstrating a truly reflective NGO that is not afraid to learn in public. A rare text in humanitarian and organizational studies. -- Hugo Slim, author of 'Killing Civilians: Method, Madness and Morality in War'
For many commentators, the 'golden age' of humanitarian intervention is over. The War on Terror and the rise of strong states in the global South has reduced the room for manoeuvre for humanitarian agencies. Western governments are once again constructing value-blind international alliances as a cornerstone of their own national security. Drawing on its own history and recent experiences, in this important and timely book MSF unflinchingly surveys this new operational terrain. The result is highly readable and challenging appraisal of what it means to be a humanitarian actor in today's rebalancing world. With a refreshing honesty, it explores the thin line that humanitarian agencies tread between saving lives and supporting oppressors. This brave and informative book reconfirms MSF as an organisation that thinks as well as acts. -- Mark Duffield, Professor of Development Politics and Director, Global Insecurities Centre, University of Bristol
The most detailed and self-critical inside account of the deals aid agencies are forced to negotiate, often with groups and regimes which abuse human rights, to continue their work. -- Peter Beaumont, Guardian
Whilst MSF has acquired a reputation for 'speaking out' on behalf of the victims of conflicts and disasters, this fascinating and timely book shows that this tradition, always rather ambiguously adhered to, is today very much under threat. Longstanding concerns that public declarations will jeopardise MSF's aid operations have now been supplemented by concerns that these declarations will add weight to calls for military intervention and for prosecutions in international courts, thereby further jeopardising MSF operations on the ground. Meanwhile, a range of governments in conflict-affected countries are reining in free speech through formal contracts with NGOs. Using a series of illuminating case studies, the book highlights the shifting dilemmas faced by aid workers. It brings out the perennial dangers of silence and stresses the continuing need to highlight the hidden victims of 'just wars' (whether these are civil wars, Western wars, or both). The book also exemplifies MSF's traditions of self-criticism and internal disagreement, traditions that -- in an age of public relations and self-promotion -- are now more valuable than ever. -- David Keen, Professor of Conflict Studies, London School of Economics and Political Science
A great fact-filled book that will broaden your horizons on the very admirable work of people involved in the Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) organization. * Bizindia *
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