Humanitarian Assistance


Humanitarian assistance is a key part of the global security policy toolkit. This chapter examines how the definition of humanitarianism, as humanitarian assistance in response to conflict-related insecurity, has been broadened from the alleviation of insecurity to the actual provision of security through concepts such as military humanitarian intervention and the Responsibility to Protect, prompting claims that it risks becoming a driver of insecurity in its own right. The chapter also explores the contested notion of humanitarian space, arguing that debates about the extent and protection of humanitarian space have become the foci for key discussions about the security of professional humanitarians and those they aspire to serve. It then argues that what is omitted from discussions of humanitarian space is often the sense of such spaces as sites of governance, in which humanitarianism's consequences for the security and insecurity of intended beneficiaries needs to be examined more closely.


Radice, H. Humanitarian Assistance. In: The Handbook of Global Security Policy (Edited by Kaldor, M.; Rangelov, I.). Wiley Blackwell, Oxford, UK (2014) 232-246. ISBN 9780470673225 [DOI: 10.1002/9781118442975.ch13]

Humanitarian Assistance

Published 1 January 2014