The “humanitarianization” of urban violence [The “humanitarianization” of urban violence]

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Reid-Henry, Simon & Ole Jacob Sending (2014) The “humanitarianization” of urban violence [The “humanitarianization” of urban violence], Environment & Urbanization 26(2): 427–442.

​This paper describes how international humanitarian organizations (IHOs) are adapting their operations to working in the urban environment. When levels of armed violence in urban areas are sufficient to trigger international humanitarian law, organizations such as the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) may argue that they have an important contribution to make by offering a set of skills and experience gleaned in conflict and non-governed settings. This paper reflects on this humanitarian turn to the city and uses it to problematize certain assumptions within the existing understanding of “urban violence” and the nature of humanitarianism itself.