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Humanitarianism and the Quantification of Human Needs : Minimal Humanity

Title data

Glasman, Joël:
Humanitarianism and the Quantification of Human Needs : Minimal Humanity.
New York : Routledge , 2019 . - 260 p. - (Routledge humanitarian studies )
ISBN 978-0-367-46416-5

Project information

Project financing: 7. Forschungsrahmenprogramm für Forschung, technologische Entwicklung und Demonstration der Europäischen Union

Abstract in another language

This book provides a historical inquiry into the quantification of needs in humanitarian assistance. Needs are increasingly seen as the lowest common denominator of humanity. Standard definitions of basic needs, however, set a minimalist version of humanity - both in the sense that they are narrow in what they compare, and that they set a low bar for satisfaction. The book argues that we cannot understand humanitarian governance if we do not understand how humanitarian agencies made human suffering commensurable across borders in the first place.
The book identifies four basic elements of needs: As a concept, as a system of classification and triage, as a material apparatus, and as a set of standards. Drawing on a range of archival sources, including the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF), and ehe Sphere Project, the book traces the concept of needs from its emergence in ehe 1960s right through to ehe present day, and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's call for "evidence-based humanitarianism." Finally, the book assesses how the international governmentality of needs has played out in a recent humanitarian crisis, drawing on field research on Central African refugees in the Cameroonian borderland in 2014-2016.
This irnportant historical inquiry into the universal nature of human suffering will be an important read for humanitarian researchers and practitioners, as well as readers wich an interest in international history and development.

Further data

Item Type: Book / Monograph
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Professor History of Africa
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Professor History of Africa > Professor History of Africa - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Joël Glasman
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 900 History and geography > 960 History of Africa
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2020 12:44
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2020 12:44
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/54575