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Condemned to Repeat?: The Paradox of Humanitarian Action Paperback – May 31, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0801487965 ISBN-10: 080148796X Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (May 31, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080148796X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801487965
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The director of research and former head of the French section of Medicins sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), Terry has written a compelling book about the failure of international humanitarian organizations to take into consideration a wider political context before providing aid. This shortsightedness, argues Terry, results in the paradox that humanitarian aid aimed at alleviating suffering instead sustains the oppressive action that caused it. In clear and concise analysis, she begins with the controversial claim that the aid agencies respond in knee-jerk fashion to any conflict without further investigating or even considering the ramifications of their aid. In four documented cases, Afghan camps in Pakistan, Salvadoran and Nicaraguan camps in Honduras, Cambodian camps in Thailand, and Rwandan camps in Zaire Terry details how aid given to help people often ends up in the coffers of the combatants. Terry backs up her claim with photocopies of documents that will be of special interest to scholars of the 1996 Rwanda massacres. Recommended for all libraries. Glenn Masuchika, Rockwell Collins Information Ctr., Cedar Rapids, IA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Terry has written a compelling book about the failure of international humanitarian organizations to take into consideration a wider political context before providing aid. . . . In clear and concise analysis, she begins with the controversial claim that the aid agencies respond in knee-jerk fashion to any conflict without further investigating or even considering the ramifications of their aid."—Library Journal



"Noting that governments have various nonhumanitarian policies that are manifested in dealing with refugee flows, including allowing refugee camps to be used for military purposes, Terry concludes that aid agencies must necessarily contribute to these governmental maneuvers. . . . She concludes that the best aid agencies can do in the real world of governmental realpolitik is to try to minimize undesirable political impact that inheres in humanitarian assistance."—Choice



"An insider's searching critique of the humanitarian aid system. . . . The result, Terry concludes, is a deep paradox at the heart of humanitarian action: The international community's good intentions have created structures of aid and protection that, when injected into disintegrating states without authoritative rule, often fuel violence rather than reduce suffering."—G. John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs



"The book makes a valuable contribution to the burgeoning literature on humanitarian action. The historical research is detailed, the arguments are cogent and precise, and Terry's findings are alarmingly relevant . . . . Although the book is an appeal to relief agencies to enter into emergency situations with more caution and greater awareness of the ramifications of their actions, the study would certainly serve as a valuable pedagogical tool for graduate courses. It is also accessible to undergraduates and a general adult reading audience."—Eric A. Heinze, Perspectives on Political Science



"This is a provocative, analytical treatment of the inevitable dilemmas that arise when humanitarian action is undertaken in a militarized environment. Fiona Terry writes with the authority that comes from several years of working in emergency relief programs in different parts of the world. The book's main contribution is its identification, discussion, and analysis of the predictable negative consequences of humanitarian intervention."—David L. Cingranelli, Perspectives on Politics



"Fiona Terry's Condemned to Repeat? is a tough-minded and searching critique of the global aid industry. Aid agencies and humanitarian activists who do not think hard about Terry's critique may find themselves condemned to repeat the mistakes she identifies."—Michael Ignatieff, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University



"There have been many books criticizing humanitarian action from the outside and many others praising it from the inside. Almost always, both the moral and operational dilemmas of relief work were terribly oversimplified. Fiona Terry has changed all that. Hers is the first book by an aid worker from the English-speaking world to anatomize the real paradoxes of humanitarian action. It is at once a superb and original work of historical research into the actual practice of contemporary humanitarianism, an arresting polemic about what the consequences of those practices are, and a fine piece of moral reasoning."—David Rieff



"Unlike others who have seen the underbelly of the aid business, Fiona Terry responds, not with cynicism or fatalism, but with morally sensitive, politically relevant, and intellectually lucid proposals about how to bring actual consequences closer to good intentions. Condemned to Repeat? is a passionate and independent challenge to humanitarian practice-as-usual that can enrich ethics classes and guide refugee camps. It is a book of extraordinary reach that contributes richly to both theory and practice."—Henry Shue, author of Basic Rights


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ananda Liyanapathiranage on November 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Fiona Terry provide a practical aspect of Humanitarian aid through her experince in the field. Humanitarian aid involves working with goverments and rebels sometimes it is hard to avoid workig with people who has blood in their hands to help the innocents or victims. Further she talks about the negative consequences of humanitarian intervention. Great book from an author who has hands on experience on Humanitrian aid.
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23 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
Excellent book- well documented. The author's arguments are furthered bolstered by other writers that have exposed the corrupt, hypocritical, self-serving "aid" industry and their cynical collaboration with the kleptocrats and dictators of the world's vampire states. These other authors include:
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Road to Hell: The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity by Michael Maren
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Famine Crimes: Politics & the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa (African Issues) by Alex de Waal
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Africa in Chaos : A Comparative History by George B.N. Ayittey ---
A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis by David Rieff
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The data is clear, but self-serving elites will continue to prosper and gullible Western taxpayers will continue to vote them into power. They will both continue prop up the kleptocrats and dicators of the world.
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