Above the Fray: The Red Cross and the Making of the Humanitarian NGO Sector [book review]

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tad Skotnicki, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: In a world lousy with crises from the spectacular to the mundane, we often glimpse an immense infrastructure of humanitarian nongovernmental organizations seeking to relieve human suffering. But as Shai Dromi reveals in Above the Fray – an intricate sociological history of the Red Cross – the organization’s astounding success in the second half of the nineteenth century contains the secret to understanding crucial features of contemporary humanitarianism. Any account of this contemporary humanitarian infrastructure, he argues, must reckon with a cultural logic grounded in the nineteenth-century Swiss Calvinist Réveil (“Awakening”). For it is out of this Réveil that the organizational principles characterizing permanent aid societies emerged – autonomy, impartiality, and neutrality – principles that continue to structure humanitarian work to this day (p. 5).

Additional Information

ASA Sociology of Culture Section Newsletter, Vol. 33, No. 3: 6-8
Language: English
Date: 2020
book review, Red Cross, humanitarianism, nongovernmental organizations

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