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Contexto Internacional

Print version ISSN 0102-8529


WEISS, Thomas G.. Humanitarianism's Contested Culture in War Zones. Contexto int. [online]. 2014, vol.36, n.2, pp.305-348. ISSN 0102-8529.

Humanitarian action in war zones was never easy but has proved especially daunting in the post-Cold War era. This essay begins with the dominant traditional humanitarian culture as a metric to explore the move away from an agreed culture of cooperation to a contested one of competition as a result of militarization, politicization, and marketization. These three aspects are not the whole truth of the humanitarian project, but they are essential components. It is crucial to understand how the international humanitarian system functions if one hopes to improve its operations and attenuate, if not eliminate, the culture of competition and counter-productivity. The essay concludes with a plea for a "learning culture" oriented to responsible reflection rather than rapid reaction.

Keywords : Humanitarian Action; War Zones; Militarization; Politicization; Marketization.

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