The Tactics and Ethics of Humanitarianism

Toscano, Alberto. 2014. The Tactics and Ethics of Humanitarianism. Humanity, 5(1), pp. 123-147. ISSN 2151-4364 [Article]

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This review article explores the incisive critiques of contemporary humanitarianism advanced in Meister’s After Evil and Weizman’s The Least of All Possible Evils. Read jointly, the two books allow us to move beyond generic invocations of ethics and liberal visions of international law, in order to explore deeply problematic dimensions of the politics of human rights. Meister’s analysis of “human rights discourse” reveals a technology of time that infinitely postpones justice in the name of a pacifying transition, while Weizman’s chronicling of the spatial strategies of humanitarianism shows us how the calculated lessening of evil is one of foremost figures of neo-colonial and neo-imperial violence today.

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4 October 2013Accepted

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08 Nov 2017 15:52

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08 Nov 2017 15:52


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