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Humanitarianism at the Crossroads? International Aid in the 1980s

Cambodian refugees in Thailand, 1980

Research on the mobilization for the Ethiopian famine of 1983-5 and on the proliferation of international NGOs has offered stimulating insights into the humanitarian landscape of the Eighties. However, the history of international aid in this decade remains very much unexplored. This is also because the Eighties are often seen as a period of transition from the activism of the Seventies to the end of the Cold War and the emergence of the ‘humanitarian interventions’ rather than a defining moment in the history of international aid. Bringing together different case studies and perspectives, the workshop aims to shed new lights on actors, practices, and narratives of international relief in the Eighties. It intends to offer an occasion to rethink about this decade and explore whether it can be better understood as a complex and more nuanced chapter of humanitarian history

International Workshop

13 October 2021

Chair Annalisa Urbano (University of Milan)

Bertrand Taithe (Manchester University) Dreaming a Humanitarian System: enduring emergencies and epistemic communities in the making in 1980s humanitarian work

Cristian Capotescu (Columbia University) 'Nobody in Socialism is Poor': The Emergence of Ceausescu’s Romania as a Humanitarian Crisis Zone in the 1980s

Kevin O’Sullivan (National University of Ireland, Galway) Populist Humanitarianism: Ethiopia, Band Aid and the Making of the NGO Sector

Silvia Salvatici (University of Milan) Dams Against Hunger. The ‘Tana Beles Project’ and Italian Relief to Ethiopia

Discussant Heike Wieters (Humboldt Universität)

Workshop organized in the frame of the PRIN 2017 ‘Republican Italy and International Aid, 1945-1989’ (Principal Investigator Silvia Salvatici), funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR)

13 ottobre 2021
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