19 September: GTD Colloquium “Beyond Relief in the Near East: The Politics and Policies of an American Humanitarian Organization in the Aftermath of the First World War” by D. Rodogno

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Date(s) - 19/09/14
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Grote Gracht 80-82, Spiegelzaal (Soiron Building) Maastricht


Beyond Relief in the Near East: The Politics and Policies of an American Humanitarian Organization in the Aftermath of the First World War

By Prof. Davide Rodogno

(The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)

Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development research program/ FASoS and MACIMIDE colloquium

Abstract: My paper addresses the question of the invention of the concept of development in what early 20thcentury humanitarians believed to be one of the fault lines of Western civilization, the Near East. I argue that development programs are not a post-colonial phenomenon or invention. I have entitled this paperBeyond Relief precisely because I believe that Near East Relief (NER), an American humanitarian organization, combined relief and rehabilitation with ante-litteram development programs. The NER responded to, and, sometimes, “invented” needs, categories of needy individuals or groups, emergencies, in an attempt to address the root causes of suffering.

Discussant Dr. Elsje Fourie (Maastricht University)

Davide Rodogno is Professor in the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, currently serving as head of the International History Department (2014-2017). His doctoral thesis was published in English as Fascism’s European Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2006). Grantee of the Rockefeller Archives Centre in 2011, he currently is grantee of the SNSF ‘Sinergia’programme on a project entitled Patterns of Transnational Regulations (https://transnationalism.unibas.ch). He researches the history of philanthropic foundations, transnational public health experts and the World Health Organization’s development programs during the Cold War. In 2011 he published Against Massacre: Humanitarian Interventions in the Ottoman Empire (1815-1914), the Birth of a Concept and International Practice (Princeton University Press). During the summer of 2012 the Kofi Annan foundation mandated Rodogno to write a report documenting the experience of the United Nations and League of Arab States joint special envoy for Syria. More recently, he co-edited and authored a volume on Humanitarian Photography and another onTransnational Networks of Experts. He currently works on a third monograph tentatively entitled : From Relief to Rehabilitation : Humanitarian Organizations’ Actions on behalf of Civilian Populations in the aftermath of the First World War. He started an e-publishing project on the history of International Organizations and Development Programs (1900s-1970s).