Abstract: Humanitarian evacuation is today a well-known practice, but as an articulated policy it only dates back to the evacuation from Macedonia of Kosovo Albanian refugees in 1999. This article investigates a much earlier example, the evacuation of Armenians from Cilicia (now in southern Turkey) by France in 1921. It shows how the evacuation of entire populations over long distances became thinkable, in an age of mass displacement and emerging humanitarian consciousness, and practicable, as military logistics were applied to humanitarian crises. It analyzes the political decision to evacuate, showing how it sprang from the interaction of factors in the eastern Mediterranean, in France, and internationally. On the basis of this case study it establishes humanitarian evacuations as an object of historical enquiry, and sets an agenda for future research.
Follow Us On TwitterMy Tweets
In our new issue we feature Samantha Balaton-Chrimes’s essay on decolonizing global solidarity. Also in this issue are essays on the Cold War history of human rights, humanitarian governance, human rights and population control, and the visual politics of maternal mortality. We end with review essays on human rights in Colombia and the political ethics of doing good.View entire issue >
Recent Blog Posts
Last December the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore, commissioned an ethnographic consultancy of the organizational culture of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The consultancy was assigned to a team consisting of Agathe Mora, Julie Billaud, and myself, three political and legal anthropologists who combined have extensive experience in the ethnography of human rights and international organizations. The call for the consultancy outlined as its motivations the desire to “identify remaining barriers and obstacles to, Continue reading →
This post is part of a symposium on Lyndsey Stonebridge’s Placeless People. All contributions to the symposium can be found here. “Literature is put to all kinds of political uses, public and private,” Philip Roth once observed, “but one oughtn’t confuse those uses with the hard-won reality that an author has succeeded in realizing in a work of art.” After reading Placeless People: Writing, Rights, and Refugees (2018), I wonder if Lyndsey Stonebridge would disagree. Works of literature that deal with human rights issues are Continue reading →