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revolutions in Peru and El Salvador. Their discussion seems a bit added on and perhaps unnecessary. Since so much more is said about the Cuban and Nicaraguan revolutions than about those in Bolivia and Grenada, perhaps more explanation of revolutionary failures is called for. Also more might have been said about the impact of revolution on the international system. Since revolutions upset the international system, they are seldom greeted with enthusiasm by established states. Overall, Selbin's book is well worth reading and is a contribution to both the theory of revolution and an understanding of revolutionary change in Latin America.
Thomas G. Weiss and Larry Minear, eds. Humanitarianism Across Borders: Sustaining Civilians in Times of War (Boulder, CO: Lynne Reinner, 1993), 209 pp., paper $8.95. Thomas G. Weiss and Larry Minear, Humanitarian Action in Times of War: A Handbook for Practitioners (Boulder, CO: Lynne Reinner, 1993), 107 pp., cloth $35.00.
Reviewed by Joshua Rubongoya Department of Public Affairs Roanoke College Salem, VA 24153 Written under the auspices of the Humanitarian and War Project, these two timely works, the first an analysis of humanitarianism and the second an A-B-C of the practice of humanitarian action, complement each other so well that one is tempted to buy them as a pair. The authors have targeted two specific audiences. With the edited volume, the goal is to provide a broader context to the day-to-day tasks of the practitioners of humanitarian work and those individuals not directly involved in humanitarian organizations. It is a critical analysis of the law, theory, and principle of humanitarianism. The Handbook is aimed at agencies and those persons whose daily task is to provide assistance and protection to those in need. The edited volume comprises three parts, each with three chapters. The chapters in Part I address values that form the basis for humanitarian action. The first chapter, written by Ephraim Isaac, articulates the universality of humanitarianism across religions, races, and cultures. Isaac defines humanitarianism as a feeling of concern for and benevolence toward fellow human beings (p. 13). He argues that even the most "preliterate" of world societies has a conception of the principle of humanitarianism. Furthermore, he examines a host of world religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) and African traditional beliefs to demonstrate how inherent the principle of concern and benevolence is in each one of them. The
Jonah poses the polemical question of whether the Somali case will provide a precedent for the disregard of sovereignty. His central point is that the media and relief agencies adopt a partnership not only for times of crisis but. Girardet believes this strategy might be more cost effective than the sporadic.. Jonah focuses attention on the new face of humanitarian intervention. during periods of intense struggle for development. informed public opinion. C. John Mackinlay specifically focuses on the deployment of military forces to help solve humanitarian crises in war zones. Mary Anderson gives us a look at the all-important relationship between humanitarian values and development. wasteful. Central to this chapter is the debate concerning the sanctity of national sovereignty and the need to intervene on behalf of a starving and abused population. and short-lived approach adopted by today's media. Edward Girardet authors the final chapter in Part I and raises the most controversial questions. James O. with emphasis on armed relief as opposed to humanitarian intervention in general. Using the case of Somalia (and Liberia). 61). Although absolute sovereignty is no longer justification for human rights abuses.70 Book Reviews central point in this chapter is to lay the groundwork for a universal and holistic application of humanitarian norms—an application that is free of relativistic encumbrances.e. Is there a direct and necessary connection between responsible media.and long-term prospects for equitable economic development (pp. Part II shifts gears and addresses the relationship between military force (i. and finally that emergency help need not lead to the destruction of sociopolitical structures of economic selfsustenance. that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) could effectively be substituted for a development-oriented nongovernmental organization. Jonah argues that the principle of sovereignty will still be sacrosanct in all but very few cases. Anderson concludes her chapter by asserting the primacy of humanitarian operations that are sensitive to medium. He observes that interventions of this nature are going to increase . intervention) and humanitarian action. In Chapter 2. Must humanitarian relief be done with disregard to development imperatives? Is it cost effective to exclusively focus on humanitarian help. In fact. Chapter 5 is an extension of Chapter 4. This is intervention narrowly defmed as military action undertaken to guarantee humanitarian access with the approval of the UN Security Council but against the expressed wishes of a state (p. and enlightened public policies? Are the media contributing to conflict and counterconflict by focusing on crises instead of the less graphic efforts of overcoming poverty and injustice? In this regard Girardet concurs with Anderson on the link between humanitarian action and development. bearing in mind that such action often results from conditions of poverty and powerlessness? Central to her argument are the points that there ought not be a dichotomy between humanitarian help and development. This segment of the book raises questions of military and sovereign power in the context of relief delivery. In Chapter 4. more important. 6-7).
and decisions by the UN General Assembly. victims cannot give up their rights. The rest of the chapter deals with the detailed mechanics of implementation and overall effectiveness of humanitarian law. Written with a deep sense of practical and theoretical rigor that can only come from experience. "Relief Operations and Military Strategy. the lack of coordination could result in an exacerbation of the civilians' plight. 61). and the economic effects that relief operations have on both the belligerent armed forces and the victims. are an evaluation of the changing dynamic of humanitarianism in a post-Soviet world. and rules are consistent.Book Reviews 71 because of a new world disorder undreamed of by the framers of the UN Charter (p. 120). . Veuthey provides a specific definition of international humanitarian law. 155). the UN Charter (1945). namely the principles and rules that limit the use of violence during armed conflicts (p. making reference to the Geneva Convention (1949). Nonetheless. The chapter raises a set of interesting questions related to this form of intervention. The final chapter of Part II. the additional Protocols (1977). To the extent that relief aid is often politicized. Michel Veuthey (Chapter 7) examines the intricacies of humanitarian law qua human rights law. The third and final section of the book provides analysis of humanitarian institutions—a view of the world's new humanitarian order. The concluding chapters. 8 and 9. 125). Both chapters express a dissatisfaction with the structural inadequacies and existing capacities of the international delivery system (p. These rules are based on three fundamental characteristics: they are not subject to reciprocity." provides a critical analysis of the relationship between the work of relief practitioners and military strategy. the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). Frederick C. Gayle Smith argues that a coordinated plan between relief practitioners and the military would limit undue trauma to civilians. Smith concludes this very-well-researched chapter on a somber note—^that there may be times when the aid community may have to make a political judgment about the use of its assistance and inevitably take sides with one of the warring factions (p. the dynamics of military strategy and logistics. The question that strikes the reader is whether civilian relief workers should themselves undergo military training owing to the intricate relationship between their work and that of military personnel. The central point made in this chapter is that we currently have a sufficient legal framework to deal with humanitarian adjudication. Chapter 6 sheds light on the difficulties of neutrality in armed confiicts. Cuny calls for drastic changes in the management structure of the UN system in order to enhance its response capabilities. He criticizes the United Nations for lack of professional orientation among relief specialists. 126). Might troop training for such expeditions be different from the traditional type? Will they be able to function in highly politicized circumstances? What are the terms of engagement? What is the chain of command likely to be? Mackinlay's conclusion is that the military needs to formulate a precise definition of their role and a doctrine of implementation. the problem is that the international community lacks the humanitarian spirit and political will to enforce existing rules (p.
I would rank the Handbook among the top three most useful resource manuals on the market today.72 Book Reviews But whereas Cuny projects a more optimistic role for the United Nations and other relief organizations in the post-Cold War era. 1994). scholars. The edited volume has been enhanced with commentaries preceding each of the three parts. the Handbook provides a look at how the latter policy guidelines may form the basis for a code of conduct useful to the community of practitioners operating in war zones. and maintaining effective humanitarian operations in situations of armed conflict—that is. The Handbook is a short and concise guide on how to translate the theoretical and normative framework provided in the edited volume into practical use by those in the field. Wirtz Department of National Security Affairs Naval Postgraduate School Monterey. The subject matter is relevant for the post-Cold War world order. For example. 212 pp. $44. The humanitarian practitioner should find this a critical reference for his or her day-to-day work. benchmarks against which performance can be measured and that prevent pragmatism from degenerating into unprincipled opportunism. He believes the United Nations is inherently incapable of being impartial—a necessary principle of humanitarian intervention. while availing the relief worker with a manifesto—a mission statement to guide action. CA 93943 Written after the first wave of euphoria that accompanied the collapse of the Soviet Union. First. a set of important policy guidelines for relief operations. and it is presented with jargon-free precision. thus tying each part to the rest of the book. It gives the general reader a bird's-eye view of the conditions of humanitarian delivery. 19). Both of these books form an essential resource base for practitioners. in the authors' own words. this collection of essays by political scientists and sociologists addresses two issues highlighted by the end of the Cold War. These are. Finally. it identifies . Finally. James Burk. at its core the book presents the eight Providence Principles that should guide humanitarian action (p. The Military in New Times: Adapting Armed Forces to a Turbulent World (Boulder. Also one finds a rigorous review of the operational challenges of planning.. and policy makers alike. ed. CO: Westview Press. Reviewed by James J. these two books introduce a new trajectory in the literature that emphasizes that humanitarianism is related to but distinctly separate from human rights work. Ingram questions the centrality of the United Nations in civilian relief operations..95 cloth. mounting.