Humanitarian Borders: Unequal Mobility and Saving Lives

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    Polly Pallister-Wilkins

    Publisher: Verso

    Year: 2022

    Format: Paperback

    Size: 225 pages

    ISBN: 9781839765995

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The seamy underside of humanitarianism

What does it mean when humanitarianism is the response to death, injury and suffering at the border? This book interrogates the politics of humanitarian responses to border violence and unequal mobility, arguing that such responses mask underlying injustices, depoliticise violent borders and bolster liberal and paternalist approaches to suffering.

Focusing on the diversity of actors involved in humanitarian assistance alongside the times and spaces of action, the book draws a direct line between privileges of movement and global inequalities of race, class, gender and disability rooted in colonial histories and white supremacy, and humanitarian efforts that save lives while entrenching such inequalities.

What People Are Saying

Humanitarian Borders crosses intellectual borders of international politics, decoloniality and migration to bring readers into an analysis of mobility injustice that may be uncomfortable, but is absolutely necessary. How does the need to help, justified by a primordial plea to ‘save lives’ become part and parcel of a branded effort to produce inequalities amongst the helpers and the helped? Decolonizing humanitarian borders is urgently needed and this book is an excellent place to start.” Lisa Ann Richey, coauthor (with Alexandra Cosima Budabin) of Batman Saves the Congo: How Celebrities Disrupt the Politics of Development

About the Contributors

Polly Pallister-Wilkins is a political geographer and Associate Professor at the University of Amsterdam.

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