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The emerging concept of humanitarian diplomacy: identification of a community of practice and perspective s toward international recognition

31-12-2011 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 884, by Philippe Régnier

The present article proposes to explore the definitions and scope of action of ‘humanitarian diplomacy’, as well as some of the challenges it faces, with a view to preparing the way for its eventual recognition by the international community.

Abstract

In recent years the term ‘humanitarian diplomacy’ has become fashionable among humanitarian organizations in general, and within the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in particular. However, the very idea of ‘humanitarian diplomacy’ is not uncontroversial, owing to the imprecise and contested nature of the term, and to its unclear operational application. The present article proposes to explore the definitions and scope of action of humanitarian diplomacy, as well as some of the challenges that it faces, with a view to preparing the way for its eventual recognition by the international community.

Biography

Philippe Régnier has pursued an academic career at the Universities of Geneva and Ottawa, and in particular at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, and at the School of International Development and Global Studies in Ottawa. Since 2010 he has been serving as Senior Learning Advisor to International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); he is also an independent expert adviser to the European Union.


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