International and moral humanitarian action is very much a product of the 20th century. We've written about the history of humanitarianism in the past and its roots into centuries previous. Today we're exploring a facet of modern humanitarianism as it emerged in the early 20th century in the context of colonies and Empires.Read More
Obscured by an endless discharge of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford “updates” or the ongoing hypocrisy on Parliament Hill, the recent audio footage of a British Marine who shot a wounded insurgent in Afghanistan has generated a fierce debate in the United Kingdom.Read More
According to most contemporaries in the summer of 1914, a European war couldn't have been further from the imagination. After all, they were living through Europe's longest, general peace since the Napoleonic Wars and many had never witnessed war. The small crises which riddled global news bulletins were not at all tied to the survival of their own countries. Yet, when the Balkans erupted for a third time in just a decade, European peace was broken and the Great War engulfed nations from around the globe. In this post, we raise questions about similarities between the situation in Syria and how states have reacted to US and British plans to attack Assad's regime.
For about two and a half years, Western governments have stood idle whilst the leader of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, has contributed to a death toll of over 100,000. News of chemical weapons being used last week, however, has changed the posture of the US and the United Kingdom, who are now considering seriously military intervention. This post looks at the contradictory nature of the West's stance on Syrian intervention and the foreign policy issues associated with it.Read More
After last week's conceptual history of humanitarianism, we would like to comment on the current state of humanitarian intervention and speak even more directly to the conflict in Syria, in which Western military intervention has been considered but rejected since it began more than two years ago. Today, we look at how intervention and human suffering have changed in the last decade since the attacks of September 11, 2001.Read More
This is the second and final part of our discussion on the history of humanitarian intervention. The previous post looked at long-term ideas as they relate to perceptions of suffering. As we move through the past, notions of who is suffering and from what have changed drastically. This can often dictate why and in what capacity states or organizations intervene in certain situations and not in others.Read More
This week on Clio's Current we want to examine the history of humanitarianism in order to ask questions about pressing issues in the Arab world, notably in Syria. Before we do so, however, we think it's worthwhile to offer a short overview of the history of international humanitarianism, which stretches into the past much further than most might think.Read More