"An insider's searching critique of the humanitarian aid system. . . The result, Terry concludes, is a deep paradox at the heart of humanitarian action: The international community's good intentions have created structures of aid and protection that, when injected into disintegrating states without authoritative rule, often fuel violence rather than reduce suffering."-G. John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 82, No. 1, Jan-Feb 2003
"Fiona Terry's Condemned to Repeat? is a tough-minded and searching critique of the global aid industry. Aid agencies and humanitarian activists who do not think hard about Terry's critique may find themselves condemned to repeat the mistakes she identifies."-Michael Ignatieff, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
"The book makes a valuable contribution to the burgeoning literature on humanitarian action. The historical research is detailed, the arguments are cogent and precise, and Terry's findings are alarmingly relevant . . . . Although the book is an appeal to relief agencies to enter into emergency situations with more caution and greater awareness of the ramifications of their actions, the study would certainly serve as a valuable pedagogical tool for graduate courses. It is also accessible to undergraduates and a general adult reading audience."-Eric A. Heinze, University of Nebraska, Perspectives on Political Science, March 2003.
"There have been many books criticizing humanitarian action from the outside and many others praising it from the inside. Almost always, both the moral and operational dilemmas of relief work were terribly oversimplified. Fiona Terry has changed all that. Hers is the first book by an aid worker from the English-speaking world to anatomize the real paradoxes of humanitarian action. It is at once a superb and original work of historical research into the actual practice of contemporary humanitarianism, an arresting polemic about what the consequences of those practices are, and a fine piece of moral reasoning."-David Rieff
"Terry has written a compelling book about the failure of international humanitarian organizations to take into consideration a wider political context before providing aid. . . . In clear and concise analysis, she begins with the controversial claim that the aid agencies respond in knee-jerk fashion to any conflict without further investigating or even considering the ramifications of their aid. . . . Recommended for all libraries."-Library Journal, June 2002
"Unlike others who have seen the underbelly of the aid business, Fiona Terry responds, not with cynicism or fatalism, but with morally sensitive, politically relevant, and intellectually lucid proposals about how to bring actual consequences closer to good intentions. Condemned to Repeat? is a passionate and independent challenge to humanitarian practice-as-usual that can enrich ethics classes and guide refugee camps-it is a book of extraordinary reach that contributes richly to both theory and practice."-Henry Shue, author of Basic Rights
"Writing as an insider, Fiona Terry takes on international aid organizations in Condemned to Repeat? The Paradox of Humanitarian Action. Her theme is hurting while helping, the paradox of humanitarian aid that prolongs the suffering it seeks to relieve."-Nina C. Ayoub, Chronicle of Higher Education, 7/26/02
"This is a provocative, analytical treatment of the inevitable dilemmas that arise when humanitarian action is undertaken in a militarized environment. Fiona Terry writes with the authority that comes from several years of working in emergency relief programs in different parts of the world. The book's main contribution is its identification, discussion, and analysis of the predictable negative consequences of humanitarian intervention."-David L. Cingranelli, Binghamton University, SUNY, Perspectives on Politics 1:3, September 2003
"Terry has written a compelling book about the failure of international humanitarian organizations to take into consideration a wider political context before providing aid. . . . In clear and concise analysis, she begins with the controversial claim that the aid agencies respond in knee-jerk fashion to any conflict without further investigating or even considering the ramifications of their aid." Library Journal"
About the Author
Fiona Terry has spent most of the last 20 years involved in humanitarian operations in different parts of the world, including northern Iraq, Somalia, the Great Lakes region of Africa, Liberia and Sudan. She was a research director for Medecins Sans Frontieres in Paris from 2000 to 2003 working on North Korea, Sierra Leone and Angola, before spending three years with the ICRC in Myanmar. She holds a Ph.D. in international relations and political science from the Australian National University.