A Managerial Humanitarianism: The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Risk Management of Armed Violence in Greater Rio de Janeiro

Abstract: This paper analyzes an International Committee of the Red Cross program that instructs public service workers, and the municipal bureaucracies overseeing them, on how to assess and mitigate risks related to armed violence in their daily work in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I argue that this initiative represents a form of managerial humanitarianism primarily concerned with shaping the state’s management of lives and with preparing groups of people to protect themselves. Here, armed violence is turned into an object of (risk) management, something to be addressed through risk assessments, behavioral protocols, and reporting mechanisms rather than through emergency relief.

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