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The Humanitarian Enterprise: Dilemmas and Discoveries

Larry Minear
The Humanitarian Enterprise: Dilemmas and Discoveries
ISBN: 978-1-56549-150-2
2002/288 pages/LC: 2002005658
A Kumarian Press Book

"Minear has succinctly captured the complexity, contradictions, and challenges in this burgeoning field.... His recommendations to relief practitioners provide a valuable road map toward the common goal of improving the human condition and dignity of victims of conflict throughout the world."— Julia Vadala Taft, UN Development Programme

"Larry Minear brings the insider's view to his evenhanded, highly credible analysis of humanitarian response over the past decade. This ambitious review is a 'must read' for humanitarian practitioners looking to improve their own effectiveness in this field by studying key topics of debate and concern that Minear so thoughtfully tackles."—Mary E. McClymont, InterAction

"Brings together the cutting-edge issues that relief and rights organizations must confront—and resolve—if we are fully to deliver on our humanitarian missions. Minear's principled and grounded analysis raises the bar."—Peter D. Bell, CARE USA


With a particular (though not exclusive) focus on the complex links between humanitarian action and the worlds of politics and military engagement, Larry Minear explores what international actors—from the UN and national governments to the many private relief and development agencies—have learned about doing humanitarian work.


Larry Minear is visiting professor at Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition and Science Policy. Previously, he was director of the Humanitarianism and War Project, a research initiative based at Tufts.


  • Foreword—John Hammock.
  • Introduction—Jan Eliasson.
  • The Setting and the Research.
  • Coordination.
  • Human Rights.
  • Strengthening Local Capacity.
  • Humanitarian Politics.
  • Coercive Humanitarianism.
  • Humanitarian Architecture.
  • Equipping the Enterprise.
  • The Dynamics of Institutional Change.