Humanitarian Reason

By Didier Fassin,

Book cover of Humanitarian Reason: A Moral History of the Present

Book description

In the face of the world's disorders, moral concerns have provided a powerful ground for developing international as well as local policies. Didier Fassin draws on case materials from France, South Africa, Venezuela, and Palestine to explore the meaning of humanitarianism in the contexts of immigration and asylum, disease and…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Humanitarian Reason as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This book challenged my thinking about the implications of compassion taking a decisive role in policy.

Not undermining the import of compassion or empathy, it reveals how these moral sentiments are taking precedence over formal rights in decisions about asylum for refugees, aid, access to health or mental health care, and even justifying a military action.

Under the emergent logic of humanitarian reason, structural inequities and violence are easily rendered invisible as the most poignantly shaped public narratives of suffering gain sway over historical conditions of structural injustice and dominance. Fassin draws upon fieldwork in South Africa, Venezuela, Palestine, and…

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