Ethnographies of PracticeUniversity of Pennsylvania Press Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights
Medical humanitarianism—medical and other health-related initiatives undertaken in conditions born of conflict, neglect, or disaster —has a prominent and growing presence in international development, global health, and human security interventions. Medical Humanitarianism: Ethnographies of Practice features twelve essays that fold back the curtains on the individual experiences, institutional practices, and cultural forces that shape humanitarian practice.
Contributors offer vivid and often dramatic insights into the experiences of local humanitarian workers in the Afghan-Pakistan border areas, national doctors coping with influxes of foreign humanitarian volunteers in Haiti, military doctors working for the British Army in Iraq and Afghanistan, and human rights-oriented volunteers within the Israeli medical bureaucracy. They analyze our contested understanding of lethal violence in Darfur, food crises responses in Niger, humanitarian knowledge in Ugandan IDP camps, and humanitarian departures in Liberia. They depict the local dynamics of healthcare delivery work to alleviate human suffering in Somali areas of Ethiopia, the emergency metaphors of global health campaigns from Ghana to war-torn Sudan, the fraught negotiations of humanitarians with strong state institutions in Indonesia, and the ambiguous character of research ethics espoused by missions in Sierra Leone. In providing well-grounded case studies, Medical Humanitarianism will engage both scholars and practitioners working at the interface of humanitarian medicine, global health interventions, and the social sciences. They challenge the reader to reach a more critical and compassionate understanding of humanitarian assistance.
Contributors: Sharon Abramowitz, Tim Allen, Ilil Benjamin, Lauren Carruth, Mary Jo DelVecchio-Good, Alex de Waal, Byron J. Good, Stuart Gordon, Jesse Hession Grayman, Jean-Hervé Jézéquel, Peter Locke, Amy Moran-Thomas, Patricia Omidian, Catherine Panter-Brick, Peter Piot, Peter Redfield, Laura Wagner.
Bringing Life into Relief: Comparative Ethnographies of Humanitarian Practice
—Sharon Abramowitz and Catherine Panter-Brick
PART I. INTIMATE INTERVENTIONS: HEALTH WORKER EXPERIENCES IN HUMANITARIAN CONTEXTS
Chapter 1. Dignity Under Extreme Duress: The Moral and Emotional Landscape of Local Humanitarian Workers in the Afghan-Pakistan Border Areas
—Patricia Omidian and Catherine Panter-Brick
Chapter 2. Compassion and Care at the Limits of Privilege: Haitian Doctors amid the Influx of Foreign Humanitarian Volunteers
Chapter 3. Trust and Caregiving During a UNICEF-Funded Relief Operation in the Somali Region of Ethiopia
PART II. THE ARCHITECTURE OF HUMANITARIAN KNOWLEDGE, ETHICS, AND IMPERATIVES
Chapter 4. Evidence and Narratives: Recounting Ongoing Violence in Darfur, Sudan
—Alex de Waal
Chapter 5. Life Beyond the Bubbles: Cognitive Dissonance and Humanitarian Impunity in Northern Uganda
Chapter 6. Staging a "Medical Coup"? Médecins Sans Frontières and the 2005 Food Crisis in Niger
PART III. STRONG STATES, WEAK STATES, AND CONTESTED HEALTH SOVEREIGNITIES
Chapter 7. What Happens When MSF Leaves? Humanitarian Departure and Medical Sovereignty in Postconflict Liberia
Chapter 8. Humanitarianism and "Mobile Sovereignty" in Strong State Settings: Reflections on Medical Humanitarianism in Aceh, Indonesia
—Byron J. Good, Jesse Hession Grayman, and Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good
Chapter 9. The British Military Medical Services and Contested Humanitarianism
PART IV. THE AFTERLIVES OF INTERVENTION
Chapter 10. Anthropology and Medical Humanitarianism in the Age of Global Health Education
Chapter 11. The Creation of Emergency and Afterlife of Intervention: Reflections on Guinea Worm Eradication in Ghana
Chapter 12. Medical NGOs in Strong States: Working the Margins of the Israeli Medical Bureaucracy
Conclusion. A Measured Good
List of Contributors
"This volume brings the intersections between humanitarian and global health interventions into relief. It offers detail, nuance, and complexity to debates that are out there, probing difficult situations and asking tough questions."—Miriam Ticktin, Professor of Anthropology, The New School for Social Research
"In light of the recent Ebola crisis, this book becomes even more prescient of the lessons that can be learnt by examining well-grounded ethnographies in comparative perspective for a more critical and compassionate understanding of humanitarian assistance."—Peter Piot, from the Foreword.
"What happens when humanitarian intentions collide with the realities of humanitarian action? The editors present twelve engaging and provocative ethnographies of humanitarian practice, that invite immersion, deep reflection, and call for constructive dialogue between scholarship and humanitarian practice"—Unni Karunakara, International President (2010-2013), Médecins Sans Frontières