Tracing humanitarian action through the Review: 150th anniversary edition

19 December 2017

Dating back to 1869, the International Review of the Red Cross is the oldest international publication devoted to humanitarian law and action. Its archives represent a precious primary source on the history of the ICRC and of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, but also on the development of humanitarian law and action at large.

The first edition of the Bulletin international des sociétés de secours aux militaires blessés, the precursor to the Review, was published in October of 1869. In the beginning, the journal acted as a means to report on the activities of National Red Cross Societies and the ICRC. In 1919, the portion of the journal devoted to the activities of the ICRC became the International Review of the Red Cross. Over time, this publication has evolved tremendously to become the Review we know today, a peer-reviewed academic journal, produced by the ICRC and published by Cambridge University Press, that acts as a forum for debate on humanitarian law, policy and action.

In 2019, the Review will celebrate its 150th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the journal will publish a special edition exploring how the journal reflects the evolution of warfare and humanitarian action over the past century and a half. Topics that could be addressed via the archives of the Review include humanitarian innovation, the evolution of international humanitarian law (IHL), the evolution of the ICRC and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, an exploration of how humanitarian vernacular has evolved over time, of an examination of some of the contemporary challenges to humanitarian law, policy and action, and the ways in which similar crises have been addressed in the past, as reflected in the pages of the journal.

Authors are invited to send submissions to the Review's editorial team, preferably in the form of a Word document, at review@icrc.org. The deadline for submissions is 30 April 2018. Additional guidelines for authors available here.