Literary Salon: ‘The Golden Fleece: Manipulation and Independence in Humanitarian Action’

Date/Time: 18/02/2013  14:30 - 16:00

Location: Bergen Centre for International Development

Professor Micheal Alvarez (UiB) in conversation with editor Antonio Donini.

The Golden Fleece examines the impact of manipulation on the effectiveness of humanitarian action. The tension between fundamental humanitarian values – the prioritization of life-saving over all other considerations – and political or economic agendas is not new. Relief work has long been subject to manipulation by governments, warlords, public opinion, disembodied realpolitik, and to the calculations of humanitarians themselves. The Golden Fleece asks whether saving lives is, by its very nature, prone to instrumentalization or whether humanitarianism can be transformed and made more immune to manipulation.

Antonio Donini is a Senior Researcher at the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University, where he works on issues relating to humanitarianism and the future of humanitarian action. From 2002 to 2004 he was a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. He has worked for 26 years in the United Nations in research, evaluation, and humanitarian capacities. His last post was as Director of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance to Afghanistan (1999-2002). He has published widely on evaluation, humanitarian, and UN reform issues.

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