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date: 26 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the connection between the international refugee regime and the international humanitarian order. It first looks at the origins of humanitarianism in the late eighteenth century and how it has expanded today to protect more kinds of people affected by forced migration, including those displaced by natural disasters. It then discusses the two major branches of humanitarianism that currently comprise the international order: alchemical humanitarianism and emergency humanitarianism. The first seeks to eliminate all forms of suffering and its causes, whereas the second aims to treat the symptoms of suffering caused by violence and natural disasters. Furthermore, the article examines two distinct phases in the relationship of refugees and humanitarianism: from the late eighteenth century to the end of the First World War I, and from the First World War to the present. It concludes by showing how changes in the global environment and the international humanitarian order prompted the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to be more open to an expansive definition of humanitarianism.

Keywords: humanitarianism, forced migration, natural disasters, alchemical humanitarianism, emergency humanitarianism, refugees, First World War, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

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