The Golden Fleece: Manipulation and Independence in Humanitarian Action

TitleThe Golden Fleece: Manipulation and Independence in Humanitarian Action
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsDonini, Antonio
Number of Pages318
PublisherKumarian Press
CitySterling, VA

This book analyzes humanitarian action over the past century and a half, with a view to understanding how humanitarian endeavors seem to have veered from the values of a past golden age of independence, impartiality and neutrality. As the contributors to this collection show, although humanitarian thinking and practice have evolved significantly over the past 150 years, this golden age is as imaginary as a Greek myth. The problems faced by the humanitarian enterprise today are not new but the appearance of humanitarianism in crisis may simply be owing to an increase in the number of worldwide crises, the vast growth of the humanitarian industry, more intense real-time scrutiny made possible by improved communication technologies, and the conditions, restrictions and expectations that this increased scrutiny has generated in the funding environment. Instead of embarking on a quixotic quest for a mythical ideal, the essays in this book provide historical context and real solutions to real problems that affect the lives of millions. 

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